Top head hits out as he quits

PUBLISHED: 11:33 10 July 2008 | UPDATED: 15:00 25 August 2010

THE headteacher leaving the UK s most over subscribed school has slammed the government for encouraging social engineering .

THE headteacher leaving the UK's most over subscribed school has slammed the government for encouraging 'social engineering'.

Bexley Grammar school, in Danson Lane, Welling, turned away nine pupils for every one it accepted this year, a Freedom of Information request revealed.

But Rod MacKinnon, headteacher of 13 years who has quit to take up a position in a private school, warned that state schools are being damaged by an increasing expectation to 'solve society's ills'.

Mr MacKinnon, 49, from Blackheath, said: "I feel that schools today are expected to do unrealistic things for communities and in that sense are destined to failure.

"When ever there is a crisis in society some people say that schools should do more.

"The classic examples are that we have a real teenage pregnancy problem.

"Schools should help educate children to be responsible in their sexual habits but that is something that parents and society as a whole have to tackle.

"Schools should develop knowledge and understanding and teach English, history and physics, but we can't solve it all."

Intrusive guidance notes for dealing with problems like knife crime are a growing hindrance to learning in the state sector, said Mr MacKinnon.

Bexley Grammar receives a record number of applicants due to its reputation in intellectual learning.

Just last year 1,927 parents applied for 192 places.

But despite his long service at the school, Mr MacKinnon is to quit government-led schools this September to take up a position at independent school Bristol Grammar.

But the head insisted that his move to the private sector was not a protest at government policy.

He said: "I suspect I'm already off Ed Ball's Christmas card list.

"It's not about pay or protest, it's an opportunity. Thirteen years is a long time to be in one job and it's just time to move on.

"I feel very sad to be leaving. It's a lovely and very supportive school to which few compare."

Amanda Hatton, chair of the school's parents' and teachers' association, said her two teenage girls benefit from the school's community involvement.

Mr MacKinnon expects his last day at the school to be on August 18 when his A Level students open their results.

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