Local schools to specialise in science and sport

Two top local secondary schools will become specialist schools in September

Gunnersbury Catholic School and Isleworth and Syon School for Boys will specialise in Science and Sport respectively, bringing the total number of specialist schools in the borough to six, with the variety of specialisms now including Language, Technology, Science and Sport.

Specialist schools offer additional focus to their chosen subject area whilst continuing to meet National Curriculum requirements for all students. The schools also partner other local schools to share experiences and benefits.

John Heffernan, Headteacher of Gunnersbury Catholic School, said, �The study of science and mathematics is very important in its own right and it is essential for the continuing growth and development of the economy if this country. Both science and mathematics have always been a strength at Gunnersbury and we are ready to share our good practice and therefore make a much greater contribution to the wider community. We look forward to working with our partner schools and to making science and mathematics exciting for all of our pupils. The new designation for Gunnersbury adds to recent praise by the DfES for our improving attainment levels and will help us to go from strength to strength.�

Euan Ferguson, Headteacher of Isleworth and Syon school for Boys, said, �It has long been known that sport and physical activity has a beneficial effect for classroom based learning, which means that our pupils will benefit both inside the classroom and out. By taking on the additional responsibilities as a specialist sports college we will not only be developing upon our current good reputation for sports but also providing additional opportunity and flexibility for students across Hounslow.�

Each school will receive additional funding from the government as part of the specialist school package, amounting to an immediate £100,000 capital grant and £123 per pupil initially for four years. The funding will go towards additional in-school time for the specialist subjects as well as extra-curricular activities after school and at weekends.

Gunnersbury Catholic School is planning to refurbish and enhance the current teaching facilities and laboratories, whilst Isleworth and Syon School for Boys is developing plans to increase the breadth of activities available to include orienteering and dance.

Chiswick Community school had already secured funding to become a technology college.

July 2, 2003

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