Eastern Daily Press - 24th May 1966
with additional comment from David Spinks
Contents The Gallery Press Coverage EDP 24 May 1966
WIDE INFLUENCE OF WYMONDHAM COLLEGE:
Education should be seen as a whole. In the past few years reports and circulars have tended to concentrate on particular aspects of education, particular age groups and patterns of educational organisation.
The education process however, is continuous. The accommodation which is provided for education should reflect this continuity. And it is in this breadth of influence that Wymondham College still holds a position of high regard, not only in Norfolk but throughout the whole of the country.
It was acquired against the advice of the Ministry, be it noted by those who commend instant obedience to central directives. Its general objective was to provide a roof over some of the educational needs of the county. In the event, it enabled Norfolk 15 or so years ago to begin to get rid of the basic criticism of the “11-plus.” It provided opportunity for continuous county-wide appraisal of academic potentials.
In this way the 11-plus in Norfolk came to be seen as a flexible selective procedure. It is, of course, currently fanned into an explosive and emotive factor in educational debate. It is, however, difficult to see what good is done by those whose arguments imply that only the secondary grammar school can offer appropriate education to children over the age of eleven.
Wymondham College has allowed the secondary modern schools in the county to begin to develop their own effective education relatively free from the compulsive pressures of the General Certificate of Education. The Certificate of Secondary Education internally operated in mode Mode lll gives promise of a recognition of this, and the likely equating the GCE and CSE examinations provides a logical evolution which in itself would avoid some of the social concern about a separatist policy.
Many educationalists still hope that this may be allowed to happen. If so, Wymondham College will have provided an appropriate and acceptable pattern of education for the county free of party political pressure.
The contribution of Wymondham College, however, is not only in the field of secondary schools. Courses, conferences, research activities and the like are carried on at Wymondham College for 50 of the 52 weeks of the year. It has become a veritable power-house of service to education in the county at every level. It has inspired the committee to consider other imaginative projects.
Those concerned with the real issues of education will share the hope that the local education authority of Norfolk will-be allowed to continue these enterprising experiments. No vital education system can long survive a restriction of freedom to develop flexible patterns to meet the very varied needs of children in a situation which is constantly subject to change.
Wymondham College is one of the most flexible organisations that Norfolk has produced and in this lies much of its success.
From David Spinks:
I came across this piece (above) amongst Dave Goman’s cuttings.
It is interesting to read this article in 2006 when State boarding schools are on the Government's agenda as a means of solving a few of our educational needs; particularly interesting in the light of the battles during the eighties which the College authorities had with the Norfolk Education Committee who apparently did not have the manual on how to run a boarding school and really wanted to leave it to someone else.
It is also interesting in the light of the current boarding fees at some £6K PA, which are now unsupported by any agency other than parents and any charity willing to help, noting that the College is obliged to provide "free" day places for local students.
I wonder if this latest proposal is aired with a view to Wymondham once again offering boarding places such as those offered me and other grateful students in 1951 and later.
Chairman of the Wymondham College Trust - created to receive donations/funding for the benefit of College Students.
Index: Stephanie Darbishire