Hazel Grove High School News

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HGHS V Hazel Grove Academy

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TwistedBanana
Townsperson

TwistedBanana
Re: HGHS V Hazel Grove Academy
10th August 2012 at 4:06PM
I am not quite sure exactly where I have got personal; I have questioned your lack of answers to my previous questions. The points raised in these questions are what make me suspicious of the whole process. To save myself time, I have cut and pasted from the original post my questions.

I would also point out that only one fifth of comprehensive schools have adopted Academy status not the “majority” as you suggested.

I have made numerous references to your agenda and your position, mostly in jest to lighten the post. As you will have seen with the banter in relation to “accomplished politician”.

You are correct, I may or may not have got your gender wrong, the “Big Ted” avatar may have thrown me of track, my days of watching Playschool in the early seventies has trained my brain and I would have expected Jemima or Hamble for a female poster.

So below is the cut form the earlier post:


I am still waiting for you answer on how you can claim 10 years of improvement is down to four months of academy status?

I am still waiting for you to explain your comments in relation to the school becoming difficult to get into if it is successful?

I would also like it explained why teachers were locked out of the meeting with parents and not allowed in any way to express their point of view to the parents?

I would still like it explained why no one at the meetings had received the letter that had apparently been sent to all parents of high and junior school year sixes? We all found out by word of mouth instigated by a couple of concerned teacing assistants

I would still like it explained why the notification of the meeting was hidden in small print about four levels down on the Hazel grove website?

You mention that the school has enjoyed 10 years of improvement - If it aint broke why fix it - especially as you admit in your last post that it is a bit of a gamble. I hate the idea of gambling with our kids education.
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BigTed
Villager

BigTed
Re: HGHS V Hazel Grove Academy
10th August 2012 at 6:02PM, Edit: 10th August 2012 at 10:49PM by BigTed
Happy to resolve what I can from my position / point of view. And may I state at the outset that I genuinely appreciate your lighter tone – Thank You.

Firstly in your preamble you dispute that the majority of schools (you say comprehensive – I said secondary) are now taking advantage of the academy option.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/educationnews/9188890/Half-of-state-secondary-schools-turned-into-academies.html#
and
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-17628691
and
http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/2012/apr/05/academies-majority-state-secondary-schools
All state unequivocally that academies are now in the majority in secondary education. Please do not infer from these sources my choice in newspapers – they were just the first references I found. Please give me some sources of conflicting views you have found.

Incidentally I can find no evidence to support your contention and the contention of others that schools which have converted to academies have had a diminishment in funding. Whilst this may be speculation, clearly without evidence the reverse speculation, whilst I agree less likely, is equally as true.

I have done as you did and pasted your questions below such that I hopefully miss nothing:

I am still waiting for you answer on how you can claim 10 years of improvement is down to four months of academy status?

Forgive me, but I cannot find that claim made by me, furthermore, I – like you, would dismiss this as fatuous as it is clearly nonsensical to imagine that I could retrospectively claim a credit from an action which 10 years ago had not even been conceived. I think that I only referred to small steps or suchlike.

I am still waiting for you to explain your comments in relation to the school becoming difficult to get into if it is successful?

This is simply a matter of supply and demand. As I believe Mr. Johnstone stated – and I would agree with his contention, that an academy like an LA school cannot be selective. But there has to be an ‘oversubscription criteria’, in effect a policy which states prior to such an issue how oversubscription would be dealt with. The current LA model, whilst very complex, except for issues of late application – generally list applicants according to a ‘straight line distance’ model. Basically the distance (as the crow flies) from the [oddly North East corner of the] schools land to [the once more North East corner of] your property.

As I understand it you could live perhaps in the valley and be further away than someone who lives on the outskirts of Bramhall. Perhaps if the school were to get to that point – and despite what you may think it is a popular school amongst many parents, you might want to lobby the school to ensure that those whose address is within the boundary of Hazel Grove get preference over an ‘as the crow flies’ policy.

I would also like it explained why teachers were locked out of the meeting with parents and not allowed in any way to express their point of view to the parents?

My understanding, is that they were not ‘locked out’ but were told that they could not protest inside the meeting. I did observe this conversation so I can reliably explain that following a short meeting amongst the small number of teachers present – remember there are around 150 employees at the school, their options were distilled down into:
•     Go into the meeting and ask questions but not protest or,
•     Stay outside, protest but not ask questions inside.
In the event, they chose the latter.

I would still like it explained why no one at the meetings had received the letter that had apparently been sent to all parents of high and junior school year sixes? We all found out by word of mouth instigated by a couple of concerned teacing assistants

I cannot explain this and therefore in the words of this forum would not wish to pontificate. However if you will allow me to hazard a guess from my position as a parent (clue?) – it has been mentioned elsewhere on this forum that letters are found it the bottom of school bags ‘whilst wearing a bio-hazard suit’! Need I say more.

I would still like it explained why the notification of the meeting was hidden in small print about four levels down on the Hazel grove website?

I asume you mean the HGHS Website.     Once again – I said I would answer if an answer was within my grasp, I cannot explain this. However, I have discovered recently that all letters which are ‘whole school letters’ are copied immediately onto a section of the schools website and held there in perpetuity to view and look back at.

You mention that the school has enjoyed 10 years of improvement - If it aint broke why fix it - especially as you admit in your last post that it is a bit of a gamble. I hate the idea of gambling with our kids education.

This is where our (yours and mine) judgment comes in. We make small and large judgments every day; from what to have for tea to where to live to where to have our children educated. My view – and one that I understand you do not hold with is that, as I have proved the majority of secondary schools have done this. Therefore they are reaping the benefits, despite those who say not, they are thriving beyond the lesser cohort of regular state schools. If – and that is a very BIG if, there were to be a catastrophic breakdown in the budgetary distribution to academies and a potential ‘big bang’ – shall we call it, you need to look at the way despite the concerns of the man in the street, that central government has treated the ‘too big to fail’ Banks. In essence there are now too many academies and they are too far up the governments agenda to allow them en-mass to fail. If they were to fail singularly, it is likely that they were in such a sickly state prior to conversion that they were going to fail whether-or-not.
I hope this resolves our differences Mr Banana

Regards

BigTed...
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TwistedBanana
Townsperson

TwistedBanana
Re: HGHS V Hazel Grove Academy
14th August 2012 at 2:12PM
Big Ted – I will have to retract my statement relating to the amount of schools that have taken academy status. I unfortunately posted some figures that had been in my head for 6 months without checking latest figures. Your figures of 50% are much closer

In relation to your defence of the intake in the future – my point is about my fears for how this will develop. With the Governors (Directors as I believe they are now called) being held accountable for achievement there is an interest on a more direct level to take a view on where the intake comes from and when. When questions were asked about this at the meeting the answers that came back were extremely wishy washy and instilled a concern into a number of us.
I relation to the teachers and Unison reps not being allowed into the meeting you state as follows
They were allowed to go into the meeting based on the following choice:
Go into the meeting and ask questions but not protest or,
Stay outside, protest but not ask questions inside.
In the event, they chose the latter.That is worded very differently from what I recall. The Unison rep wasn’t allowed to go in full stop as it was suggested that they had no direct involvement. The teachers were “advised” to stay outside if they wanted to protest as the meeting was for the Governors to inform the parents of what they were going to do, it wasn’t a place for debate.

Please remember that the Unison meeting at Hazel Grove Civic Hall was and open forum, everyone was invited to air their point of view.

As for the “missing letters”; It was clearly stated during the meeting that these letters had been posted out to the parents of the children (not sent home with the children). When it was queried why not a single person in that room had received a letter, the Head Mistress indicated that she could only thing there had been a breakdown in communication somewhere and that it would be looked in to. It was suggested at that point that it may warrant another meeting if so many parents had missed out on this one. That was the last we heard. Plainly not good enough in my book; If we put this down to admin errors or omissions we need to remember that these mistakes were made by the people now running our school.

As for the notification of the meeting being so hidden on the website; a meeting about one of the most important changes ever to affect the school should have had a banner splashed all over every page of the site – it would have taken about 5 minutes to do and could have been done by a year seven child – not good enough, sorry.

These are all the things that make me suspicious, that make wonder why everything was done so “deviously”. Why couldn’t we have a proper open forum at the school with both sides represented and able to put forward their case? I will never understand that. Why wouldn’t the governors and their supporters agree to an open debate?
Can you understand why I am suspicious about where it will all lead?

As we have been going at the this tooth and nail for the last few days and I don’t think either of us will come round to the others way of thinking I am going to leave it at that from my end. Feel free to respond to this post and lets hope that you are right because if I am we are in a whole lot of deep s**t
Thanks, it’s been interesting and fun

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BigTed
Villager

BigTed
Re: HGHS V Hazel Grove Academy
14th August 2012 at 4:29PM
Dear Twisted – as we appear to be mates now,

You are entirely correct in my eyes, we appear to have ‘knocked the corners off all of this’. It’s been a useful exercise from my point of view to see things from your angle. Thank you. Like you I hope things go well. It was interesting to see Vulcanman bringing into the debate things we had never thought of – and it makes me wonder, as you have suggested, that there could be any number of things that perhaps we may never be privy to. As you say ‘we just have to trust them’! I believe they are on the right track – they have my support (for what its worth!).

BigTed...
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