RISINGHILL REVISITED – The Waste Clay
In this book the Risinghill story is continued by reporting on the teachers and children who attended the school – now more than 50 years ago. This research sits alongside that of companion Book 1: The Killing of a Comprehensive School, now looking at the story from the perspective of the people involved rather than the politics in which the school was immersed. Politics, however, are at the heart of this story, continuing beyond the closure of the school in 1965 through to the introduction of today’s academies and free schools. With the disadvantaged child very much in mind, the authors – ex-pupils of Risinghill - ask what (if anything) has changed in 50 years, and what are the lessons that can be learned from Risinghill? Described at the time as the ‘waste clay’ of an educational experiment, this research with the pupils adds another dimension to the Risinghill story, which has largely been ignored. Who were the Risinghill children, and how did they fare in life? Duane’s story (from 1965 through to his retirement in 1980, and his death in 1997) is continued here through: (1) the authors’ interviews with Duane’s widow, Margaret Duane; and (2) their interviews with Leila Berg, who is given her last say on Risinghill by way of a piece written by her (in 2005) for inclusion in RR.
The book ends with the research group’s conclusions, looking at the possible impact of Risinghill on today’s education system where every child is supposed to matter.
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