Upper Clapton’s Professor Green slams schools system

HOME-GROWN Hackney hip hop sensation Professor Green has rapped the schools system for failing to help youngsters escape gang culture.

Green, who grew up on the Northwold Estate in Upper Clapton Road, said more should be done to encourage less academic students and focus on practical training.

“Helping these kids is about spending time with them, showing them there is more out there,” he said.

“The school system isn’t up to that.

“Not everyone is academic. That’s how people get left behind. There should be more practical skills on offer.”

The rapper, 26, whose real name is Stephen Paul Manderson, started his education at St Thomas’ Church of England Primary School in Lynmoth Road, Stamford Hill.

He was later offered a place at prestigious boys’ private school St Paul’s, north London, but turned it down to follow his friends to a comprehensive in Tottenham.

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He drifted between two secondary schools before dropping out entirely.

“Smart as I was I wasn’t smart enough to stay in school,” he said.

Instead he got into “all kinds of trouble”.

But music helped him turn his life around. He hit number two in the UK album chart with Alive Till I’m Dead in July and drew a massive crowd at the LED Festival in Victoria Park last Saturday (August 28).

He has a tattoo saying “Lucky” on his neck where he was stabbed with a broken bottle in an unprovoked attack during a clubnight at Cargo in Shoreditch in May last year.

Professor Green is headlining the Turning Point Festival organised by young Londoners at the Roundhouse in Camden, from September 17 to 19. For more information, go to www.myspace.com/turningpointfestival.