A school in Bourne has been held up as a beacon of excellence to equip children with “better preparation for the real world” than their fee paying counterparts.
Bourne Grammar School in South Road was described as “the creme de la creme of the British state system” in a guide to the country’s state schools in high society magazine Tatler.
Its introduction to the guide points out that it costs about £600,000 to put two children through the private system, and asks: ‘Is private really superior? Not always, not any more.’
Jonathan Maddox, headteacher of Bourne Grammar, said the point the magazine made was that there were some “first rate” schools in the state sector that are as good as the best of the fee paying ones.
The school, which has academy status, was classed “outstanding” in the 2008 Ofsted inspection.
Mr Maddox, who has been head of the grammar school for the past nine years, said: “What makes us outstanding is the special attitude of our students and staff: you will see lots of smiling faces here.
“We’ve put a lot of effort into recruiting the right people. We also put huge emphasis of pastoral care.
“People think that a grammar school is purely interested in academics. We celebrate academic performance, but the results we get are a consequence of how we look after our students and care for them.”
The school has 1,116 pupils. In 2013 62 per cent of all its pupils’ grades at GCSE were A* or A, 73 per cent of maths results were A* or A and 100 per cent of chemistry grades were A* or A.
The Tatler guide recognises that some state schools have “spanking-new buildings, strong discipline, sporting rigour and academic ambition.” It cites a range of benefits of state schooling, including: “Your child gets a better preparation for the real world, the one where not everything is handed to them on a sterling-silver platter, where there is a cosmopolitan mix, where you will have to fight to get to the top.
“And best of all, when you do finally get into the Cabinet, everyone will love you because you didn’t go to Eton.”
Naming 20 secondaries and 10 primaries, the guide concludes: “So here they are, the crème de la crème of the British state system.
“Do everything you can to get your children a place at one of these schools – you will not regret it.”