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Lilian Baylis Technology School


Academy Status


About the Headteacher

Gary Phillips always wanted to teach in inner city schools, he says, partly out of a desire to help those who were going through difficulties at home - just as he did as a teenager. Now head at the Lilian Baylis Technology School in Lambeth, south London, he has the task of helping other challenging teenagers fulfil their potential. And while it was previously known as a school with low attainment and attendance and poor discipline, it is now one of the most improved in London.

Gary Phillips was sent to what was called an "approved school" at the age of 12 after becoming violent and aggressive, and after his achievement took a sharp downward turn. "I got involved in all kinds of incidents - aggression, fighting - and wasn't achieving at all," he said. "I was constantly being sent home." Lilian Baylis Head - Gary Phillips Lambeth Teachers Association recognises that Gary understands children with difficulties better than anyone. His own background and his taking charge of Lilian Baylis perhaps explain why issue that were once serious matters at the school no longer are.

Perhaps we shouldn't have been surprised that (we were told for financial reasons) LBTS opted to apply for Academy status.
Apart from our astonishment that this community school was seeking to convert at speed, with limited consultation, we were particualrly concerned about their choice of sponsor, RSA who have had somewhat poor relations with staf fin the one existing academy they sponsor.
Even though this was pushed through, the school is having great difficulties in dealing with the site owners as they area PFI school. We are told that the legal bill for that alone starts at £30,000. If this is prolonged, we fear that any financial benefits (which amounts to bribery by Michael Gove, nothing less) will be lost in any case.
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The new school building Lilian Baylis moved in 2006 to its new site having been at Lollard Street previously. It was constantly attacked in the media, most notoriously by the Tory MP Oliver Letwin who said he would rather beg than send his child to Lilian Baylis.

We do not know whether our distinguished MP ever took to vagrancy, but we do know that he might have to beg to get in to LBTS today. The school has progressed and achieved 49% A* - Cs in 2008 - this is a school that opposes selection and supports inclusion, so in terms of supporting pupil progress is years ahead of some schools who choose their intake. Lilian Baylis is also becoming popular.

Far from being a sink school, it is now 'mid-table' in terms of having a full in-take at the first choice stage. It is doing far better than some much heralded places, including a certain City Academy. This is an early indicator that schools do better with local authority support, than with private sponsors. Parents are beginning to realise this, we feel.

Visit the School's website


The NUT is the larger union at the school, but we happily work with NASUWT colleagues. Both unions have reps and for every reason we've stated it is certainly a place we'd encourage teachers to apply

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