Letter: Town pupils need a better alternative

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Having seen your round up of local schools A-Level results, I am writing to express my concern for the most academically able children of the town.

Following Lincolnshire County Council’s decision to end the County Scholarship Scheme, which provided places at Stamford Endowed Schools for the academically able pupils, without ensuring that there was alternative appropriate provision in place, Bourne Grammar School has become the most acceptable state-maintained option for the schooling of the most academically able children. Now significant numbers of Stamford children make the considerable bus journey each morning and evening. This is done at their own expense even though LCC have a legal duty under Education Legislation to provide transport to an appropriate school. Some Stamford families have even moved to Bourne. This cannot be an ideal scenario for the fifth biggest centre of population in Lincolnshire when in all but one of the top ten populated towns there is a state-maintained grammar school provided. However this scenario can be further questioned in the light of Bourne Grammar only achieving 53% of their A-Levels at grades A* to B which is somewhat low for a selective grammar school.

With the rejection of the free school application and the acceptance that the Cambridge Meridian Academy Trust should back and rebrand Queen Eleanor school to provide the appropriate education for the town, it seems to me that the academically able children of Stamford are still being short changed. The County Scholarship scheme, whereby LCC agreed to pay a negotiated fee for students to be educated at the Endowed Schools because Stamford had no state grammar school, worked well for decades.

I, and several other local educationalists who feel the same, urge LCC to reinstate the scheme, at least until such time as the new provision of CMAT is able to assess whether a sixth form is viable. If any parents feel the same then I would encourage them to lobby their local county councillors and email LCC, customer_services@lincolnshire.gov.uk with their views.

John Hicks

Ryhall Road,
Stamford