Where one school leads, will the country follow?by David Goodhart / April 24, 2013 / Leave a comment
Published in May 2013 issue of Prospect Magazine
Waterhead Academy: “Britain needs the process of integration taking place at the school to succeed”
You have almost certainly never heard of the Waterhead Academy school, and the people who run it want to keep it that way for at least a couple of years. For there is something happening there that, if all goes well, could have quite important implications for parts of the British education system and even British society itself.
And, for now, all going well means staying out of the headlines. The almost 1,400-pupil Waterhead is the result of a merger between two ethnic monoculture secondary schools—Counthill almost entirely white, and Breeze Hill almost entirely Pakistani—in Oldham, one of the most ethnically segregated towns in Britain.
It was only in November that the two schools merged into the handsome new, brown brick building that is Waterhead and it is so far, so good. When I visited the school recently it seemed like a normal, well-ordered school full of boisterous children, and its clever design makes it feel less oppressively large than it actually is.