Old Wheatleyans Former Pupil News
Welcome to the winter edition of the Old Wheatleyans Newsletter A recent survey of 1,655 adults for the Social Mobility Commission found that nearly half believed where people ended up in life was mainly down to their background and parentage. Less than a third (29%) of people questioned thought Britain was a country where everyone could get as far as their talent and hard work would take them. The report published by the Commission is not terribly optimistic and highlights a widening social divide, exacerbated by an unfair education system, a two-tier labour market, a regionally imbalanced economy and unaffordable housing. How does a Bablake education fit into this and what role will our young people play in building a fairer society? I believe that one of our greatest strengths is that we are more socially and culturally diverse than the vast majority of independent schools – this actually strengthens our community and keeps us ‘grounded’. We are very different from the school I inspected last year where I had to drive for a mile once through the entrance arch before I reached the main building! I met some super children enjoying a rather unique experience! I once worked in a boarding school not hugely dissimilar to this and would have hesitated to have my own children educated in the senior school; as it is, they grew up in South London and Coventry, often quite oblivious to the differences and dissimilarities that others might perceive. However, let’s not deny the fact that our children are privileged. They benefit from outstanding opportunities at school in an environment where aspiration and ambition are the norm, and their parents are very supportive of their education. So it’s hard to disagree entirely with the findings of the survey. With those privileges which our children enjoy come responsibilities: the responsibility to make the very most of their precious education – for they will only have one opportunity; the responsibility to ensure that they become the very best version of themselves in the way they relate to others, at both school and at home; and the responsibility to emerge from school as young adults wishing to play a generous role in building a better world. I am forever pleased to hear from former pupils about where their lives have taken them since Bablake, and there is always a huge variety of different experiences. Many of you know, I know, will attribute at least part of your success and fulfilment in life to your education at Bablake, and we remain eager to extend its outstanding opportunities to as many bright children as possible, regardless of background. I wish you and those closest to you a very Happy Christmas and a healthy New Year,
News about Bablake's former pupils.