What a disgusting state the ‘secondary education system’ in Ilkeston is now in!
I remember when we had an excellent Grammar School at the now so-called Ormiston Ilkeston Academy site.
There was also a superb technical school Hallcroft which alas no longer exists.
Both schools required 11+ exam results to gain admittance.
There were backed up by exceptional secondary modern schools like Gladstone Boys’ and Cavendish Girls’ Schools whose students had the opportunity at 13 to move up between schools if they were late developers and showed the quality and desire.
It was no easy option, they had to prove their ability to qualify.
The quality of the pupils and schools was shown by the success of these pupils in later life.
Robert Lindsay is an example of the quality of student Gladstone produced.
We also had another excellent option in the Blessed St John Houghton School in Kirk Hallam which attracted students from well beyond the boundary of Ilkeston due to its quality.
Now we have an under threat almost defunct Bennerley (Ormiston Enterprise Academy) living on a tightrope and an ex-Grammar school which is classed as “inadequate”.
Thank God the St John Houghton School still exists as a bastion of a decent standard of secondary education that the children of Ilkeston deserve.
I fear for the future pupils at Ilkeston junior schools who deserve better.
It’s not their fault, they deserve better opportunities, but unfortunately they have inherited a substandard system which has been produced by remote, bureaucratic, substandard politicians of various political viewpoints.
We have lost three railway stations!
We almost lost a Town Hall!
We lost an excellent education system!
We almost lost a super hospital!
We almost lost an excellent Co-op!
We gained nothing!
Oh and I forgot. We also lost an excellent maternity home where incidentally my first embryonic stages of life were spent.
God help us!
If this is called progress, let’s go back to better times.
Mr J. Mellor