Friday, 6 July 2007
The news that another 100 schools have acquired specialist status brings England one step closer to having a specialist system. Along the way, the critics have moved from hostilty to enthusiasm. And with good reason. Specialist status has been less about whether a school has extra facilities for sports or languages than the galvinising effect that acquiring and retaining that status has on a school's sense of mission and ambition. But coupled with a stronger link with neighbouring schools and the ability to provide a hub in the school's specialist subject, it is no exaggeration to say that the move to near-universal specialism has transformed England's comprehensives. Congratulations to all those who will become specialist schools this autumn.