Reader letter: School should return to its roots

PUBLISHED: 14:17 25 March 2018 | UPDATED: 14:17 25 March 2018

Hewett Academy. Picture: Denise Bradley

Hewett Academy. Picture: Denise Bradley


Some 50 years have passed since the Hewett School opened as a Centre of Vocational Excellence.

We might not have adopted that phrase in those days nor, as pupils, appreciated the quality of our learning experience.

The Hewett School became an exceptional place for learning practical life skills that I, like so many, have grown to appreciate as the years passed.

Engineering and joinery workshops equivalent to any business premises in Norwich and teachers with life skills in their subjects, the Hewett School provided an exceptional opportunity to develop the competence to become a professional trades person or a DIY enthusiast, whether it be plumbing, electrical or mechanical engineering or carpentry and joinery, etc.

The advent of computer technology and the promotion of academia as the exclusive path to success led to the demise of vocational learning, the ‘blue collar’ career was looked down upon as successive governments lost interest in British manufacturing in favour of international financial services, etc.

Furthermore, the failure of the education authority to maintain the workshops that had once been the jewel in the crown led to the eventual failure of the school that had nothing more to offer than any other comprehensive.

Rebranding as an academy will not in itself attract a new influx of students.

If it is to rise from the ashes, then returning it to a Centre of Vocational Excellence is the only way.

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