Last Friday I was very pleased to visit Thomas Bennett Community College, along with Tilgate Councillor Francis Guidera and Crawley MP Henry Smith. Representatives from the Chelsea FC Academy who are linked to the school were there for the official opening for the newly resurfaced all-weather 3G pitch. This is another great facility that the school has, but schools are more than buildings and facilities.
For me, what ultimately makes a good school is the people - the teachers, the staff, and of course the pupils. But we shouldn’t forget parents who are a key part of the equation in supporting their children’s learning and their schools. When we toured Thomas Bennett with the new Head teacher during the school day, the sheer enthusiasm he has for the school was very apparent, as was the positive atmosphere in the classrooms as we went round. Such a positive learning environment along with dedicated teachers is conducive for the good education that we all want our children to have, and I was delighted to see for myself how Thomas Bennett Community College definitely has that.
The biggest insight into life at the school during my visit was Francis, Henry and myself having lunch with a group of pupils from across all the year groups. I learned much from them about their own experiences of school life. With no teachers present, we asked probing questions on matters including quality of teaching, support for pupils, discipline, and school activities. As well as being impressed by the knowledge of the pupils, I left feeling very positive about the school and how happy these pupils were with the education they are receiving.
Schools are a key part of any local community. As a father myself whose daughter has been through the whole school system in Crawley in recent years, I know only too well the importance parents place on having good local schools that can educate our children to the highest standards. Our schools do have financial challenges and while more funding is coming, I welcome that Crawley’s MP continues to lobby hard for greater resources.
Councillor Duncan Crow, Leader of Crawley Borough Council Conservative Group
26th September 2018