Students challenge Mr Gove to hear about their “more valuable” Quaker education

Students have combined efforts with their Headmaster Iain Kilpatrick to try and convince Michael Gove that their school is a model example of how to achieve academic excellence without losing creativity and independent thinking. Mr Kilpatrick invited the Secretary of State for Education to visit his school in September to see for himself what can be achieved by students who are encouraged to think for themselves rather than learn by rote. Mr Gove declined to visit.

Now students have decided to take matters into their own hands and have sent letters to Mr Gove asking him to reconsider the invitation to meet. This time, the students are offering to take the school to the House of Commons. Sidcot’s Head Boy, Nicolas Gampierakis said: “Sidcot is a very different school – we get excellent exam results but also something much more valuable: we learn to think creatively and apply what we learn to the real world outside of school”.

A speech by Childcare and Education Minister Elizabeth Truss suggested British teachers look to their international counterparts for a lead, quoting the high rate of literacy in Japan, Hong Kong and Singapore. Sidcot’s Headmaster Iain Kilpatrick says that the Government would be better placed to take inspiration from colleagues closer to home. He said: “Sidcot students are encouraged to think and speak for themselves and, within a nurturing environment, with high quality teaching, we have developed a generation of young people who love learning and are excited to challenge perceptions of the world”.

“Our students learn in a truly international community, which blends the best of a UK education with a global outlook, encouraging them to develop a broad understanding of diversity and different cultures that allows them justifiably to claim to be citizens of the

This summer 96% of A Levels awarded at Sidcot school were graded A* to C and GCSE students beat the national average with 92% of grades awarded A* to C. 96% of students gained a minimum of five GCSEs graded A* to C.

Nicolas Gampierakis who achieved 14 GCSEs (9xA*, 5xA) and AS level French (grade A) said: “We decided to write to Mr Gove and the Department for Education because the students are so proud of our school and what we have achieved. We are encouraged to take an active interest in politics and current affairs and to speak up for what we believe in. I hope that Mr Gove will agree to meet us and show himself open to the inspirational teaching we receive at Sidcot”.

The students have invited Michael Gove and Elizabeth Truss to visit Sidcot in the Spring term.

Independent day and boarding school for boys and girls aged 3 - 18 in Somerset