This ethnographic study investigates how high ability pupils in a comprehensive school express resistance to authority. Building upon neo- Marxist ''resistance theory'' the aim is to inject a degree of construct validity into the concept of pupil resistance. By avoiding the tendency to romanticise pupils'' often petulant and nihilistic behaviour the aim is to revitalise resistance theory by providing a more valid account of how and why pupils resist school authority. The aim is also to critically evaluate how schools respond to pupil resistance and to assess the potential for resistance to develop into a wider Marxist transformative agenda. It is argued that certain high ability working class pupils express a form of constructive resistance. This behaviour challenges the social classifications of schooling through constructively questioning the equity and competence of pedagogic authority. It is argued that constructive forms of resistance reflect the ability of pupils to critically assess their social environment and resist perceived injustice.