A new British school, Mossbourne Academy, declares its high ambition for rowing achievement of its pupils.
It’s demonstrably true that academic selection is good for selected pupils and bad for the others. In Kent, for example, where grammars still operate, overall educational attainment is lower, even though grammar attainment is significantly higher. But this isn’t academic selection. Critics argue that kids who have the commitment to train as rowers will also have the commitment to study for GCSEs. But that’s a quite individualistic examination. If the idea is to increase general awareness among parents that engagement with school is vital to the life chances of their children, then Mossbourne is doing a more general service to the community.
I wonder if it would be fun to go to a school where rowing is a primary achievement goal for all pupils. the journalist, Deborah Orr concludes
Mossbourne’s foray into the culture of private schools seems almost like a bad cliche. But as our media constantly attests, bad cliches get lots of attention.
Mossborne’s experiment will be watched with interest.
Maybe that is its great value.