Grammar Debate: ITV Interview
As one of the last remaining grammar schools in Dorset, Bournemouth School is part of the local debate regarding the proliferation and sustainability of selective education. Echo headlines are occasionally made when major policy changes, for example, are introduced to determine the future makeup of the student body and with the Secretary of State agreeing to arrange a discussion with Dr Lewis concerning the roll-out of the government’s reform to grammar schooling, similar attention is unlikely to abate in the foreseeable future.
The latest in the line of media engagement with the school took place yesterday when ITV Meridian interviewed lower school students and sixth formers on their experiences at Bournemouth School. After the setup of what appeared to be a labyrinth of cables and filming equipment, students were asked to raise their hands in a format not too dissimilar to that of a question and answer session in class (albeit a rather fabricated demonstration thereof.)
Beginning with the sixth formers, ITV were keen to understand what students thought of their time at BS, including the activities they have partaken in, their view of the school’s environment and whether they considered the selective system to be something positive. After establishing that, they questioned on the government’s proposal to lift the long-standing grammar school ban and the possibility of implementing a quota system to ensure pupils from poorer families are given a greater chance of attaining a place. Whilst all were in favour of extending the provision of grammar education, disagreement followed when responding to the idea of a quota with some expressing the concern that the move could harm more intelligent pupils from middle class backgrounds.
Then, their counterparts from the lower school took centre stage. Understandably, the questions were less intense than those preceding, however there was still plenty of room for enlightening conversation. Before leaving, Dr Lewis was taken away by the film crew to give what can only be presumed to be a significantly more formal response, addressing some unique points about the school and perhaps flying the flag too – after all, promotional opportunities are all around us.
Here are some photographs taken during the interviews, courtesy of Ian Westhead: