Obituary for a Grammar School

The plaque with the names of countless students who achieved exceptional success hangs proudly and tells of a glorious past when Batley Grammar School really was the school in which to receive your education.

Founded by the Rev. William Lee in 1612 “to teach and instruct youth and children… and to make such as be capable fit for the university” it became a renowned centre of learning, educating such greats as Joseph Priestly, Sir Titus Salt, Sir Mark Oldroyd, Victoria Cross holder Horace Waller, just to name a few.

The governing body at Batley Grammar School, following much discussion and, with considerable regret, has decided to consult on the proposal not to recruit new sixth form students from September 2015.

But from 2016 on there will be no new names added to this list if plans to close the Sixth Forms as announced by the Headteacher Brigid Tullie come to fruition.

My first reaction was one of disbelief, then horror and then anger.

to teach and instruct youth and children… and to make such as be capable fit for the university

Brigid argues that the capacities are needed for the 7th year places which are heavily subscribed. Where these pupils are going to go when the reach the appropriate age is anyone’s guess.

what has happened to Batley Grammar School?
According to reports there are only 47 pupils left in the Sixth forms. Why this is such might be answered, at least partly, by the most recent Ofsted Report from 2013, which attests that the School “requires improvement”. [Link]

to teach and instruct youth and children… and to make such as be capable fit for the university

So what has happened in the 38 year since I left this centre of learning. what turned this proud school from one of the best in the land into such a shambles in just a few decades?

The school has undergone many changes since then, changing to an independent school, taking in girls (politically correct, I know), founding a primary school, changing back to a public school. It looks like the Governing body has forgotten what this school is supposed to be about …

to teach and instruct youth and children… and to make such as be capable fit for the university

And what annoys me most, is the smug smile (although this pic probably wasn’t taken for the announcement) on the face of the Headteacher in the photo in the Batley News, who tries to sell us this next move as being another postive stage in the development of the school. And on this photo we see the sign to the left of her head “Little Batelians Nursery”. What on earth is a nursery doing in a Grammar School?…

to teach and instruct youth and children… and to make such as be capable fit for the university

It seems that education of infants in the Primary stage is more important than the assignment that the Reverend William Lee set down for it. He must be turning in his Grave. To the people who are responsible for this situation – whoever you may be – shame on you !

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  1. Sir Digby Chicken Caesar 9. November 2014
  2. Steve Cardwell 15. November 2014
    • David 16. November 2014

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