‘Failing’ Blackheath Bluecoat school faces closure

853 exclusive: England defender Rio Ferdinand’s old secondary school is set to be closed under plans to be discussed by Greenwich councillors next week.

Blackheath Bluecoat could close its doors in summer 2013 after a steady drop in pupil numbers over recent years, with academic standards remaining below local and national averages, according to a report to be presented to cabinet members.

The school is also over £1 million in debt, the report says, with pupil numbers at the Church of England school dropping by a third over the past five years.

Education chiefs at the church’s Southwark diocese have agreed the school, whose history dates back to 1700, is “not sustainable” on current admissions.

It had been planned to move the school to the Greenwich Peninsula, although those plans fell through when the coalition government axed its predecessor’s Building Schools for the Future programme last year.

“Despite being the only C of E secondary school in Greenwich, and the efforts made by the school to promote itself to parents of children attending local C of E primary schools, it has not succeeded in securing a significant share of pupils transferring into Year 7,” the document reads.

“This contrasts with the demand for places in Church of England primary schools in Greenwich which offer 8 forms of entry in total and which are consistently full.”

Blackheath Bluecoat linked up with St Cecilia’s School in Wandsworth in 2009 and was rated “satisfactory” by Ofsted in 2010. It had also been mooted that the school would take over the nearby disused playing field at Hervey Road, Kidbrooke. But despite improving results, the school has continued to suffer from a bad reputation, especially in its immediate neighbourhood, and now only has 481 pupils outside the sixth form – when it has capacity for 900.

Neighbouring John Roan is just 10 short of being full up, while Thomas Tallis is three short of capacity.

“Although the school’s performance has improved, this has not been translated into an improvement in the perceptions of the school in the wider community or the pattern of recruitment,” the report says.

“On current trends, there is no sign that the school’s position is likely to improve substantially in the foreseeable future.”

Pupils from across south-east London have attended the school over the years, with Peckham-raised Rio Ferdinand among its most famous ex-pupils, along with brother Anton. Stephen Lawrence, killed in a racist attack in Eltham in 1993, was also a student.

Many of its pupils are from the Woolwich and Plumstead areas, but significant numbers also come from across both Greenwich and Lewisham boroughs, with some coming from as far afield as Rotherhithe and Peckham. Two-thirds are black, with 18.5% white, with slightly more boys (53%) than girls at the school.

Current pupils can easily be accommodated by other schools in Greenwich and Lewisham, the report says, although it adds a new school will be needed in Greenwich from 2016 – with the council still aiming to build one on the peninsula.

A university technical college in Charlton for 14-19 year-olds, backed by Greenwich University and Lewisham College, is also expected to fill the gap from 2013 along with an extra form at Thomas Tallis in Kidbrooke.

It is planned to accept no more new pupils to Blackheath Bluecoat, with current year 7-9 pupils transferring to new schools in 2012. The remainder are expected to finish their GCSE and A-level courses in 2013.

An 11-week consultation period is due to start on 28 September, with a final decision to be made in January.

The school’s name is derived from the Blue Coat School for Girls, which opened in Greenwich in 1700. In 1959 it became “Blackheath and Bluecoat” school after merging with the Blackheath & Kidbrook [sic] school, which had opened on Old Dover Road in 1911 on land donated by Sir Spencer Maryon Wilson. The current buildings date back to 1973.

If you know Blackheath Bluecoat well as a parent or pupil, I’d be interested to hear your views.

The full documents can be found by scrolling to the end of this page.

56 comments

  1. When my three children (all now adults) went to a C of E primary school on the Greenwich/Lewisham borders, I don’t think anyone considered Bluecoat — not our offspring, nor any classmates, even though it was one of the nearest secondaries. It’s clearly had a problem for some time.

  2. I can remember it as a good school with equally good teachers. something happened to it under the 1967 Labour Gov, as happened to Camden School for Girls. Hope that it is resurrected even if as an Academy. it has history.

  3. This school should be closed immediately. The pupils are a disgrace. It has a terrible reputation. Many free school groups are looking for a building in LB Greenwich. This would be ideal. Free school instead, please.

  4. My son is in Y9 at another school close by in Greenwich, how are the other schools meant to cope with an influx of children into their classes, many of which are already challenged by the behaviour & attitude of the children that are already there.

  5. Cheers for the local blogging you do Darryl. The council makes so much information publicly available but people are so busy making ends meet that they don’t have time to access it.

    Thanks for bringing this to attention.

  6. Ironically the Appendix to the Report indicates that GCSE performance has improved significantly over the last couple of years.

  7. mr_chas’s idiotic, sweeping generalisation makes me think that he could do with BB staying open and entering into year 7.

  8. Indeed, Henning, although there’s no denying that many traders at the Standard, and local bus drivers, will greet this news with joy.

    As for numbers – perhaps this is Greenwich’s Council’s little present to the new Corelli College – the academy formerly known as Kidbrooke School, which is short on rolls. However, I’m no expert on schools and how they work in selecting students, especially these days. But this really will set open a whole can of worms.

    Paul – you’re right about the results, they were catching up fast. Maybe it was the financial situation that did it – but why isn’t the Church of England sticking its hand into its pocket? Why is closure the only solution?

    Jane – is this about becoming a comprehensive?

    Gavin – Thanks!

    Terrific info on this site, by the way: http://www.bluecoathistory.co.uk/

  9. It used to be a well performing school didn’t it in the 90s?

    Last time I went Blackheath Standard at kicking out time there were at least a dozen police cars blocking the whole area and fights going on. Surreal. It seemed pretty chaotic. I went Abbey Wood school and nothing as bad as that ever happened!

  10. While nobody at the school can hide from the school’s difficult past, the reality is that there have been real improvements at BBCS over the past 2-3 years, both in pupil behaviour and most importantly in exam results.
    Arriving back at school after the summer holidays it was plain to see the pride that the pupils took in the achievments made by their fellow students. When the GCSE results were announced in the opening day assembly, cheers could be heard as they celebrated others success, followed later in the day by an obvious determination (especially by those in yr 11) to acheive the same level of success or better it.
    This positive mental attitude being shown by 99% of the pupils at the school is translating itself into improved behaviour, not only around the school, but also in the local area. Students who were already on the path to improvment have upped their game considerably and are providing a positive example to the few who lag behind.

    Unfortunately the school is not helped by the local community’s unwillingness to embrace the change occuring at the school. During the summer term a large group of BBCS students went out into the local area. They volunteered in shops, cleaned streets and did gardening for locals. This is the kind of community action a lot of our pupils are used to taking part in. We have one pupil who, unknown to most of her friends and staff, volunteers evenings and weekends to work with special needs children and adults. We have children who go out of their way to fundraise for charity. A recent fundraising event in the school going towards charity work in India was expected to raise around the £250 mark, instead the pupils took the cause as their own and in the end well over a thousand pounds was raised, smashing all targets set. None of this is recognised by the local community or by local press. Both are too quick to jump on the bandwagon when criticism is being handed out, but are extremely slow and reluctant to give credit where it is due when the school does well.

    The real victims of this atrocious decision by the council will of course be the pupils. While some will integrate well into a new school, the majority of the student body will (quite understandably) find the change a struggle. Cast back your mind and imagine the upheaval it would have caused if you had studied for 3 years at a school, got to know the teachers, made good friends, prepared yourself properly for the 2 years of study building towards GCSE’s. Then suddenly, out of the blue, you were catapulted into a new school where you didnt know anyone, were unknown by the staff and had to immediately start your GCSE course. Hardly the ideal environment to study, this will be disastrous for the future life chances of many at the school.

    The staff and students of BBCS will be fighting this closure. I only hope that local residents, council members, etc can see past the trouble in the past and see the bright future that BBCS is heading towards.

    BBCS Staff Member

  11. The mass brawl I saw was around February. Hardly that long in the past and it involved a large number of pupils, as well as dozens of police. Still it was the only day I’d been there in years so I suppose it could have been a one off. Even so it was a serious problem.

  12. As a member of the local community unwilling to embrace change I’d like to apologise to BBCS Staff.
    When I attempted to speak to the Head after my daughter & her classmates had been threatened & intimidated by BBCS pupils many hours after school closure one Friday, I should have expected to speak only with the deputy & might have anticipated the Head would be tied up dealing with police & the aftermath of yet another stabbing. My daughter should have handed over her phone & school bag & saved all the trouble – what value material possessions after all? On the last day of term this summer I should not have attempted to drive my car on the public highway at lunchtime, let alone intervene the group of young gentlemen stood in the middle of the road severely beating one of their cohorts around the head (in full view of several Community Officers.) I should not have lost my temper when one of the group showed huge restraint & improved behaviour when booting my car only the once before running off displaying high competence in Anglo Saxon.
    I apologise for not embracing the delights of shopping at M&S by the ‘backdoor’ & feeling somewhat squeamish at the sight of congealed blood on the pavement. I, too, should have supported the BBCS pupil observed smashing his fists on the bonnet of the old lady’s mobility car, expectorating on her windscreen – what right had she to toot her horn? It was only an emergency stop after all & if the event scared her half to death, well that’s her fault,isn’t it?.
    I apologise for being libertarian; for not thinking that exam metrics are the be-all & end-all. I err in placing value in basic civility; granting the old & infirm priortity, giving a wide birth to newly delivered mothers & their prams , thinking empty fried chicken boxes & coke cans should be deposited in waste receptacles when in reality that would be the slippery slope to street sweepers losing their jobs.
    I apologise for being sufficently naive to assume those few meritorious pupils quoted, those who really do deserve better, won’t benefit from transferring to school environments whereby fear & intimidation are a thing of the past. Those pupils who having BBCS expunged as their alma mater might see automatic rejection letters from employers cease.
    The proposed closure will find many Police & Community Officers looking for other things to do, teachers will no longer have to work after school escorting their charges onto buses to ensure problems have been exported elsewhere.
    I’m certain once the light is seen the local community will welcome with open arms BBCS pupils into their hard working educational communities. What higher level of Christian commitment could there be?.

  13. Stunning post Alf.

    Earlier this year my 12-year old daughter was threatened by some BBCS (14-15 year old) blokes who had made their way up to the Old Dover Road to practice hounding young girls from Thomas Tallis. Very brave of them.

    One of these brave teens had a knife to back his courage up.

    Every time I see that ruddy great CCTV police van on the green at the Standard and the PCSOs at the bus stops it fills me with bloody sadness.

  14. As a local resident who has lived in the area 25 years, I will be very sad to see this school go just as it was starting to succeed in turning around its fortunes for the better in terms of both results and behaviour. There are not many schools who could succeed in doing this with a pupil intake such as that at BBCS. And there are not many people queuing up to pick up the slack and take on this challenge where BBCS leaves off.

    It is all very well citing incidents of bullying by BBCS pupils of others at surrounding schools but – news flash – this happens in London. When I was a pupil at Thomas Tallis some 16 years ago, I was chased and attacked by members of another local school, John Roan, on several occasions – but I would not have liked to see the school closed as a result.

    Closing BBCS is not the answer. It will just displace a lot of the problems which BBCS was beginning to overcome and in so doing, it will undo any progress which was beginning to be made.

    Greenwich Council Please – there is still time to prevent this happening – Please reconsider.

  15. Perhaps I’m old and out of touch but profess to being somewhat intrigued by Laura’s positive support for BBCS. What implication: “…pupil intake such as that at BBCS;” Christian Selective surely? As my alma mater was High Church selective I know a thing or two about how the system works. I’ve pondered whether there’s a correlation between my retained standards & the 30:1 application ratios my old school still enjoys & those at the half subscribed BBCS?
    The suggestion bullying is omnipresent in London is innaccurate & should not convey moral acceptance of the belief man is but a ‘noble savage’. Strangley, from reports of such incidents I’ve received from pupils & parents at other Borough schools BBCS appears to provide a common link. Tallis & Roan pupils looking after each other in mutual defence from ‘crusader’ attack suggests a more positive spin might be placed on our nation’s youth.
    That BBCS has made strides forward is to be commended, problem being viewed from the other direction just how long did this take, with the goal yet remaining an inch shy of a marathon distant. BBCS one might argue simply ran out of time. Displacement of a ‘lot of problems’ is exactly what will transpire & I trust the incorporation of smaller, disruptive elements into better managed schools will benefit all. I won’t, however, be holding my breath.

  16. I’m tempted to suggest that your High Church selective background and the fact that you use the words alma mater in common parlance confirm your own suspicions that you are a little out of touch on this one – certainly when it comes to the kind of lives some of the kids at BB lead. But that would be to detract from the argument.

    I think you’ll find the BB intake is largely from disadvantaged estates across London (many as far away as Peckham and beyond) precisely because local people such as yourself believe – and indeed perpetuate the hype – and stay away, which is a shame as behind and away from this viscious cycle of mass hysteria, some real good is being done.

    You’re right however that it has taken and is taking time – this sort of change by its very nature does – that is exactly why it would be shame to turn the clock back now and go right back to the beginning.

  17. I think Laura we’ll have to agree to disagree on this one – though as I originate from what would, in your terminology, be descibed as a ‘disadvantaged estate’ it simply shows how base standards of behaviour (& expectation) have become. The point you signally miss is this isn’t mass hysteria, its real people having their lives ruined by a feral majority & that’s why you’ll find little support for your point of view within the local community. Doubtless claims of NIMBYism will be raised, but I’m not to blame for lives lead, neither is the construct ‘Society’ & if BBCS had the type of parental agreements I’ve contracted to for my children’s education the problem would have been resolved years ago.

  18. Actually I agree with you – we should be raising standards and expectations across the board. That’s why it’s such a shame to bray and squeal with pleasure when something like this happens and a lot of people’s efforts to do just that are poured down the drain.

    I’m not blaming or excusing anyone and I sympathise with those who have experienced problems, NIMBYS or otherwise. What I am also not doing however, is pontificating, glorifiying, revelling in or laying into staff and pupils who have made a lot of progress and will now see it go to waste. You raise aspirations and behaviour by rewarding hard work, not slapping it down.

    Your background is irrelevant. Your inability to recognise and/or understand that this is not a ‘selective’ alma mater in the way your school clearly was, is not.

  19. I’m a very close neighbour and its not true that as a community we have been “unwilling to embrace the change occuring at the school.” All of my neighbours were delighted by the children’s community day this summer, helping tidy front gardens and presenting us with plants as a summer gift. The problem doesn’t lie with us! Personally I have always found the kids no different to those of any other school, a mixed bunch. Yes – there is a minority who create a big problem and are visible trouble makers but the vast majority are nice, normal kids who show up to school every day in the hope of getting a good education. I push my buggy and small children through packs of them at the end of the school day and I’ve always found them so polite and respectful. I feel desperately sad for them that they’ve had such bad luck with the school and that they’ve been vilified because of the actions of a dodgy minority. They deserve so much better.

  20. Well said Anne! You all live in inner city London. This is the reality of things! It is sad state of affairs but it’s not only at BBCS that kids fight and use violent behaviour and it is only a minority, just like in all schools. All schools have their problems and if you can’t understand this then maybe you should be living in a nice, leafy suburb somewhere where your kids can lead a sheltered and boring life. They do say ignorance is bliss after all.

  21. everyone is to fast to jump in the school.
    think about it your self, if you was still a school kid and your school was getting shut down how would you feel?
    your negative comments won’t help the past, put the pass behind you and think about someone else for a change.
    the teachers are losing they jobs, many kids will have to be sent to another school in the middle of they education.

  22. Well people are saying that ALL pupils in blackheath bluecoat are bad, all schools have an amount of bad students. If you were to spend 1 week at blackheath bluecoat school, you would fall in love with the talented pupils in that school and how to eachother they are not only collegues, they call eachother family !

  23. Well im only saying this because i attend the school but everyone always notices on the bad students and automatically thinks that the school is bad but try and think about the good pupils and how they feel about having to be separated from their friends and having to start all over again. try and thiink before commenting

  24. Given the years and years of failed attempts to improve BBCS, coupled with the academic, emotional and personal damage experienced by children, staff members, community members and past members of the governing body who have tried to raise standards – in every area – of the life and influence of the school, it IS time to vigorously pursue a limitation exercise.

    The school is not (and has not been for many years) the school of choice even of many of the children who attend it. A “satisfactory” OFSTED report is NOT adequate to ensure the outstanding quality of education which ALL children deserve and to which they have a right. Before the federation with St. Cecelia’s, BBCS was already judged as “satisfactory” and with far less debt. So, what improvements have actually been made during the last few years?

    Before denouncing Greenwich Council’s decision, consider whether a school where less than half the pupils gain 5 A*-C grade GCSEs (including English) each year – and celebrates this as an accomplishment – is fit for purpose.

    Ichabod

  25. From a professional point of view and from working in other “tough london” schools that do provide high quality education I am confident that the Council have at last made the correct decison being to close the school. Staff start to think BBC is the norm, (as I did) when it is the exception. Let’s not also forget parents do not choose to send their children there, Greenwich fund a school which has a very high level of out of borough pupils attending and sadly many of these only attend the school, as no where else for them to go, for a variety of reasons. Keeping the school open is not a viable option (financial or in the best interest of the pupils or staff).

    Unfortunately a large number of the pupils who attend the school are hard core gang members, many from other boroughs. Greenwich Council need to put pressure on the pupils home boroughs to place in a school within their borough as this will help to reduce the frightening gang problems that Greenwich struggle with on a daily basis. Ask any police officer in Greenwich.

    Staff who are there need to wake up, stop wasting time and energy on a lost cause. Separate the emotion and consider the proposed closure from a professional view AND look after themselves, as be sure that’s what the HeadS will do.

    Lexi

  26. I think it is a shame to Judge the school which has been around for so long on the bad things that have happened! surely if the standards are rising in the school is it not fair to Give it a chance?
    Regardless of statistics on results and pupil numbers the fact is that the new Head of the school has made an impressive impact and it is clearly showing in the confidence of the teachers and the pupil’s even the community around it!
    Rather then focusing on the Bad things on the school what about focusing more on how this will Impact the Children,Having just had to get over the emotions and nerves of leaving there previous school,friends,and starting a new school, where inevitably they will be surrounded by older,maturer,Inteligent children and new teachers,even a higher and harder standard of education!
    Now they may have to go through this all over again? what Psycholigical effects may this implicate in the future?
    Also what about the Parents who now Have to also deal with this all again? not only there childrens emotions now but there own as well? what about the cost of it also? uniforms,bus fares,lunch money?

    I think the school should be GIven a chance for at least a couple more years and see how it progresses, especially as the academic Level is rising and a newer generation is coming through!
    The schools reputation will never be able to change for the better if all people ever do is remember all the terrible things that have happened there! I know that its not the only school in the borough that has had extremely terrible things happen outside or in it!

    Alex

  27. For all you bigots out there, firstly you need to understand that BBCS like many others, have encountered problems in the past, but strived through commitment and hard work to improve not only the achievements of its pupils, but worked on re-educating any challenging behaviour. My last child has just started at BBCS with another two still attending and 4 having schooled there and becoming successful in their own right, through the excellent teaching and support received Stop blaming the school. because as a parent, we all have a responsibility to our off spring. How many times have you that are parents, been notified of a problem with your child, yet shrugged it off when your child said it wasn’t me it was the other person, or the teacher doesn’t like me and blames me all the time. Get real and get the facts, then take responsibility..These young people are our future and need all the support that as adults and through our life’s learnings, we need to guide them in a positive way and stop pointing fingers and blaming others. My memories of my schooling were very positive, but then i didn’t have to contend with the issues of today. The government have raised our taxes, closed support networks for our young people, cut back on staff within our educational system, raised educational fees, encouraging debt to the young people. These pressures affect us all, so instead of condemning the efforts of BBCS encourage and support the non-closure, so that our young people are given the chance to achieve high results. This proposed closure has united parents/carers in such a way, that IT WILL NOT HAPPEN.We live within a society that has divided us and the only way to build relations and improve the decisions made by those in government local or otherwise is to stand together and be heard. We need to show that we are tired of decisions being made by those that line their pockets and DO NOT CARE about the consequences to us or our families. The fact of the matter is, we have the power to make changes, but we need to, as a nation pull together. We will fight for and support not only our children but the teaching staff and believe me, we are a force to be reckoned with……We would gladly appreciate your support and hope that those of you that have posted negative comments can move forward, leaving the past behind and be part of the positive changes that can be achieved through unity.

  28. People need to stop being negative! The staff are more concerned for the pupils than they are their jobs, that just shows their commitment. Previous staff need to forget their own bad experiences which they brought upon themselves. Let us the staff that care get on with their job and look after these talented kids and help them get a far better future than some of us had.

    BBCS Staff

  29. I am a current year 11 student at Blackheath Bluecoats School. what all of you people are saying is fair nevertheless over the years our school has been coming up and what many of you dont no is that we have over 40% past rates for our gcse students and my year group is meant to get over 50% and it is possible. Greenwich is closing down a perfectly good school which has the best gcse results in history of the school and is going to send it’s pupils to eltham foundation school. blackheath bluecoats is a good school and has the space for eltham foundation to come to us. the teachers at this school are amazing and have tied everything with us pupils and to me its one of the most safest place. we will not go down with out a fight hate as much as you want we have good with us.

  30. Listen, for all these people that are talking negatively about the school, listen CLEARLY. I’m personally ashamed to hear human beings talk so horribly about the students of the school. They are students growing, do they not have a right to act in the manor they do? Yes I understand that atimes they can be aggressive, but you’re making yourselves seem as if you think they should be acting like 20 year olds! They are growing, still developing, they are yet to learn & you have to understand that! This school is FULL of intelligent, bright students who have the potential to pass with flying colours, but the majority of you people put the focus on the students that may not be as well behaved. This school is like any other comprehensive school. It has it’s ups & downs, but guess what? Do you not think if the school didn’t have such great students & staff the school would be closed today? & another thing, if you want to talk about students coming out with bad grades, don’t take it out on the school! It takes the dedication of the student to do well also! It’s not all the school’s responsibility. I’m saying right now that if students with a bad attitude towards learning was to go to another comprehensive school, there is a chance they’d come out failing also! Are you gonna say that school is a bad school as well? I’m guessing not. So please, just be merciful on the school a lot of students feel it’s their home & you guys agreeing with it closing down are just taking that away, please don’t.

  31. I’m a current student at Blackheath Bluecoat School and i would like to say most of the things you’ve stated are rather unfair. Most of your comments are rather ignorant and rude considering your all adults you need to put yourself in our position , i believe you were all once a child and you did some stuff you weren’t pleased with in the past so please stop acting like your all heaven sent and give us a chance and the school is up to a good a start with the GSCE grade pupils achieving an astonishing 48% including maths and English which is the best result in the history of the school so far.The school has shown drastic change in GSCE results achieving more than the target set by the local education authority (42%). So show some support and help the school be better and achieve more instead of criticizing our school. Thank you

    Abigail Amos-Student of Blackheath Bluecoat school

  32. i am a current sixth former of BBCS and in my opinion if you selfish people really hate the school with a passion because of our so-called “disruption to the community” then move house and settle into a different community where there are no nearby schools! if you don’t like the school then move, don’t protest against hundreds of innocent children to move because of your disgusting wishes. Yeah Blackheath Bluecoats School may have some kids with “bad behavior” but please someone enlighten me, what school in London has no bad children? until someone can tell me the name of that “perfectly structured” school then i will not sit here and accept the nasty comments about BBCS.

  33. I can fully understand all your comments about the bad behaviour of a lot of the pupils at the school BUT PLEASE DO NOT tar all pupils with the same brush as i have two children in the sixth form who have attended Blackheath Bluecoats since year seven and they have NEVER been in trouble either at school or with the police! While I admit that there is a lot of very bad behaviour not all the blame can be laid at the schools door, the children who do not behave have parents that need to take responsibility for their children’s actions.

  34. No school is perfect. Sure BBCS has been a failing school however with the new headteacher things are changing for the better. There are less fights between BBCS and other London Schools. Getting better grades etc. It would be a tragidy to close BBCS. The Greenwich said “We thank you for changing young peoples lives” if they knoww we are changing young peoples lives they should take that into consideration. Why can’t we continue changing young peoples lives. Blackheath Bluecoat takes everybody in and gives everybody a chance. Save BBCS.

  35. It’s odd that Maureen speaks from some experience.If she does indeed know the staff,she would know that the school has indeed calmed tremendously and that any budget deficit only comes from the Leadership of the previous regime,and I assume,any Business manager?

  36. I was a pupil at bbcs from 1997-2001 and yes it did have its minor problems then but nothing like what im hearing about on here but every school has its bad pupils. I remember the schools in the surrounding area were just the same with their fair share of bad pupils. I also remember my friends and i would purposely hang around after school just so we didnt have to run into the pupils from all the schools who wanted to cause touble and it wasnt just in the blackheath area it was in the lewisham area and new cross.

    I wasnt always the best student, my friends and i could cause chaos when we wanted too and our head teacher (Mrs. Bickley) did give us a ‘kick up the backside’ but the next week we would still be out the back gates having a fag at lunchtime, pratting around and annoying the neighbours .The teachers did try and keep us under control but it did not always work.

    This school should be given a chance to redeem itself not just for the pupils that are attending now but for the pupils that could be attending in future, it was the best time of my life and im sure it would be the same for others pupils too.

  37. Firstly – i would like to say i am a student in which once attended the school. Although i no longer attend, i understand the position in which the hard working students and teachers face by helping the school survive – therefore i believe i am a reliable source to claim in hindsight whether they have the ability to recover from their faults.

    Blackheath Bluecoats is an ‘Excellent’ school, which i was able to acquire an outstanding education of advanced knowledge, achieving 12 GCSE passes including English and Mathematics from my efforts. Yes – at times it was hard to cope with minor issues, but speaking from my own experience, i was always able to find emphatic solutions where i managed to mature into the person i am today, so i believe short term, some students may not ‘yet’ understand the great progress they are making, however long term they will be aware of the educational progress and the maturing developments they have made.

    Many people within this forum whom are ‘against’ the capability of the schools ability to re-function are unable to view the progress made from watching from their viewpoints being outside the school community, However, little do you know, if the school if unfortunate and is decided to be closed, many pupils education may fall into jeopardy, as moving to new schools may have a negative effect, as these other schools may study a different syllabus or exam boards to their original familiar ones studied at Blackheath Bluecoats, therefore potentially decreasing their opportunities or successfully making the A* – C pass grade for the desired subjects.
    Now ask yourself, if your child attended a school they had a strong passion for, and was a mature student who was always able to focus on their own work, then why must the decision of a third party have the ability to remove that child’s freedom of learning solely because a minority of misbehaved or disobedient students may have enforced a bad impression on a few spectators? (The people against the survival of the school whom never attended yet have their own views.)

    please allow the school some freedom and give the children a break. The year 11’s have many GCSE exams shortly and are not in need of any excess stress from the judgment of the schools future.

    SAVE BLACKHEATH BLUECOATS.

  38. I should point out to “allieu koroma”, using a Sky connection, that calling people “wastemen” on a website doesn’t exactly help your cause.

  39. Being a student at blackheath bluecoats, it honestly makes me ashamed to see the comments that many of the older generations are writing, I joined bluecoats in 2009 after leaving my former school St. Ursula’s, and have stayed on at bluecoats till now, where I’m in sixth form. Doesn’t that tell you something, I left year 11 with 11 gcse’s now you can’t tell me that’s a falling school, we’ve improved our exam results, and our behaviour thoughout the coming years, and maybe instead of hearing the comments from people that are outside the school, why don’t you try hear it from the students, because its the students that are gonna be affected by this so called decision. Yes, bluecoats may have had our trouble in the days, and had our downs, but doesn’t most schools? Instead of looking at the down side of situations why not focus on the positive. Since receiving our new headteacher back in ’09 bluecoats have improved significantly, yet people have yet to see that. At bluecoats, were not just a school, were a family. Have you considered that, have you considered you may be splitting up a tightly connected family?

    Natalie Ojevah – Current Year 12

  40. Myself and many other students will not let bluecoats down without a fight.
    SAVE BLACKHEATH BLUECOATS.

  41. I have a son in year 10 who has attended BBCS since year 7 and I am utterly disgusted, angry and hurt at the propsed closure of such a caring and improving school. I will admit, it was not my first choice for him but when we went to look around, we both impressed with the atmosphere of learning and the positive attitude of all the staff. He has been very happy there over the years and as a result, he has thrived and is now in the top set for most subjects. The teachers have nurtured him (a rarity in most large schools, where they barely get to know their pupils) and he has grown in confidence in his own abilities. Having attended the meeting with the council Tuesday this week, I can clearly see that this has happened to many other pupils at BBCS who have attained greatness and who have a positive attitude to their learning and life in general, despite many adults around them wanting to bring them down (not least some of the local residents and, by their ‘proposal’ to close the school, Greenwich Council members). When the pupils had an opportunity to speak I was moved by the intelligent and eloquent way in which they put their own point of view across in front of a large audience, which must be in part due to the confidence instilled in them by the positive attitude at BBCS. Of course there are a very small minority of pupils who cause trouble, both in the school and in the wider community but this is inevitably the case at all schools in London, as Jamie and Anne pointed out in their comments. Why should the minority pull down all the hard work of the other pupils and staff?

    Greenwich Council’s proposal to close the school all comes down to money at the end of the day and to upset the pupils and put stress on them at such a time when they are just trying to get a good education to prepare them for adult life, is absolutely disgusting! The teachers at BBCS are, without exception, excellent, caring and have been doing our children proud! Their hard work has shown itself in the excellent improvements in the school over the last few years and it deserves to build on that success! There is another council meeting at the school next Monday 24th October and I urge parents, PLEASE PLEASE COME ALONG. This is OUR opportunity to have a voice on the future of our children’s education!! Dont just bury your heads in the sand and expect everybody else to fight on your behalf – there are over 600 pupils at BBCS and I know for a fact that there were probably around 150-200 parents there at the last meeting so where are the rest of you? Come on people, we’re all in this together!! This is YOUR CHILD’S FUTURE!!!

  42. Sorry, got the date of the public meeting with the Council at Blackheath Bluecoat school wrong – DOH! Its Monday 17th October at 7 pm. Many apologies.

  43. Since there’s obviously a campaign to target a month-old blog post (which nobody’s reading any more) I’m closing the comments because I have to approve each one. There’ll hopefully be another post on this topic after the public meeting – if you have more info, please use the “tell me things” link at the top of the page. Thanks.

  44. […] Woolwich Common’s shooting venue which brought about the biggest Olympic talking point.) 5. ‘Failing’ Blackheath Bluecoat school faces closure (13 September) (If this was in Harlesden or Brixton, I’d expect this story would have gone […]

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