When a school invited a celebrity former pupil to address the current inmates that expect some fond reminiscences and a glowing endorsement confirming the school is a wonderful place.
“It was terrible here,” television presenter Fiona Phillips told pupils at her old school last week. The politically leftish presenter used a speech at her old school to attack the education she received there, claiming it had turned her into a “vile teenager”. The former GMTV host, 51, pulled no punches during what was supposed to be a celebration for the rebranding of Millbrook School as a £16 million academy.
Appearing at the school as a guest speaker, she claimed teachers at the Southampton comprehensive crushed her aspirations during the 1970s, resulting in her leaving with just one O-level. Describing her arrival at Millbrook as an “eye opener” after being top of her primary school class, she said: “It was a school rampant with hormones (aren’t they all? – Editor) with no discipline, no aspiration and no encouragement.
OUCH! Not what the school was expecting from it’s famousish former pupil.
Ms Phillips said, “I went in and said I wanted to be a doctor and they said, ‘Have you thought about hairdressing?’ I can remember being in classes throwing furniture around. We locked a fashion teacher in a cupboard and threw one over a bush, and that was normal behaviour. My mother was in despair because I was so vile to her. My parents used to come and pick me up from the police station after I had been caught shoplifting. I was in fights after school; I won’t even go into what else went on. My mother couldn’t believe that this constant pupil had turned into this vile teenager.”
The speech provoked angry criticism from former pupils and governors at the school, now renamed Oasis Academy Lord’s Hill.
One contemporary of Phillips said: “There was nothing wrong with the school nor the pupils who worked hard at their education. Perhaps if Ms Phillips had not spent so much time throwing furniture and teachers around she may have got more out of her time there.” Bet we know who was teachers pet out of those two.