Some time ago, I was asked if I would sign up for a scheme called Speakers in Schools, whereby there is a register which allows state-funded schools to ask people in public life to speak to them. I have only been asked to speak once before to a school in Wimbledon. This morning I was asked to speak in the Bethnal Green Academy.
I walked there. Past the legacy of Victorian social improvement:
Past the artisan houses of the nineteenth century:
Bethnal Green Academy is what I used to know as Danesford, where my brother taught maths in the late 1970s. Then, it was a sink school. Now it’s been transformed. I was impressed by the Year 12 students who were interested in the economics of the Royal Academy and why the Madonna of the Pinks cost £22M. Then I talked to some Year 13 students and saw their art, much of it highly inventive, including technically skilled drawings, a painting of the Serpentine based on Monet, and a neo-conceptual chair.