He says "Your school is exceptionally effective in educating pupils on free school meals and I commend you for everything you are doing in this area."
The school is a consistently high performer anyway, in the top ten in Liverpool on any measure, and top five for some. And of course it is easy to be in the top half a dozen schools if you draw your pupils only from certain family backgrounds, or are selective in your intake according to academic achievement at primary school for instance but that is not what St Hilda's is about.
There is something special about a school that excels in teaching pupils whose parents have a daily financial struggle and many distractions. Generally all our pupils do really well, I see that at speech day every year in the Anglican Cathedral; several go off to Oxbridge and the red brick universities to our delight each time. But because the Head Teacher and the Chair of Governors are so committed to every single girl in the school, because development and progression is valued for each pupil, some of those high achievers will have much better life chances than they might have done at a different school with a different ethos.
I sometimes ask myself why I am a governor at a school that is not in my ward, that is Anglican where I am non-conformist and that is single sex where I prefer children to attend mixed schools (although I would support a school that taught boys and girls in separate classrooms if you want to have a discussion about it), but on days like today I remind myself anew why it is a great school to be involved with; because at St Hilda's the development of the pupils is central to everything the school is about, no child is written off, every child is encouraged and nurtured and the results speak for themselves.
Well done St Hilda's!
|Praise for St Hilda's CE High School from Schools Minister|