b'MIDLANDS AND WALESa culture of compulsory fun; when everyone hasfees, but this reects the similarity between the a go, mental barriers to entry are quickly brokenday and boarding offerday pupils are welcome down. Positive peer pressure to do new thingsat any time and until well after 9pm without builds the ability to cope with the unexpected. booking in or extra charge. Very few extras turn There are very few rules. Theres no detentionup on the bill and commendably that includes and no red zone. In their place is a focus on whatlearning support: We wouldnt dream of charg-matters, not expending energy on pushing backing for the Accelerated Oxbridge Programme, so against ridiculous barriers. No-one bats an eyelidwhy would we charge for SEN? asks Mr Budd. if your hair is down, your shirt is out or if youWere more British Airways than Ryan Air, he wear nail polish. So what if some are a bit scruffy?adds, to create the feeling that youre at home. Parents prefer children to express themselves andCertainly not cheap, but parents say that in the report them ourishing in this freedom, treatedend, its good value for money.as young adults. You can be unapologeticallyScholarships are generous, up to 20 per cent yourself explains head of senior school. Withof fees available from year 7. Academic scholar-few rules comes less of a sense of hierarchy, gen- ships awarded on entrance exam performance. uine mutual respect and the ability for staff andSport, music, drama and art awarded on basis of pupils to work collaboratively: theres no themportfolio, audition or interview. Means tested bur-and us. Girls having coffee and a chat with teach- saries can cover entire fees (although capped at 50 ers at break is normal. People believe in you, sayper cent for prep) if potential is spotted.sixth formers. International students tell us they have become brave. Anything is possible at thisThe last word: Not for the half-hearted. Parents school, they say. describe it as a place for children who throw themselves into something rather than those Pupils and parents: School attracts families fromwho want to go home at 3pm. The principal likens Wales, Cheshire, South Shropshire, Staffordshire,it to a start-up company, full of zz and energy, withincreasinginterestfromLiverpool,instilling a drive to problem-solving and an inven-Manchester and London. Some internationaltiveness to try things. Pupils leave equipped, not pupils, mostly from China. Good local contingent.only with solid academics, a jam-packed CV and Parents say that socially its a broad church, nota network of contacts, but more importantly an full of Range Rovers. inner condence and strong sense of self. One things for sure, we certainly wouldnt want to Money matters: Eagle eyes will note the relativelybe up against anyone from Moreton at interview.small difference between senior day and boarding The National Mathematics and Science College HN20No 2 The Oaks, Westwood Way, Coventry CV4 8JB0247 5092950|[email protected]|www.natmatsci.ac.ukAges: 15-19 Pupils: 58; Boarders: 57Fees: Day 12,600; Boarding: 39,900 paPrincipal: Since September 2020, Andy Kempimpossible to resist. The plan was for the family BSc MSc EdD MBA (40s). Headhunted for the roleto move from Cambridge but since Covid put while head of Stephen Perse Foundation Seniora spanner in the works hes currently resigned School, although the fact that (a) he had neverhimself to a long commute (audiobooks helpeven heard of the college and (b) Stephen Persecurrently Colin Dexters Inspector Morse series) was something of a family affair (his wife, Ruth,and some overnight stays nearby.is a maths teacher there and their two daugh- Not so much chose a teaching career as ters both attend the school) meant he took somestumbled upon it. Growing up in Surrey, he had persuading. But, as with the students, once Iabsolutely no idea what I wanted to do and understood the concept of the college I found itwound up picking medicine, then maths and 1062'