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PostPosted: Tue Oct 18, 2016 1:27 pm 
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Hi, can anyone help me who has a DD attending WHSG?

What is the Headteacher really like? I wasn't able to speak to him at the Open Evening in July. Should I be worried about this? In comparison the Headteacher at SHSG was very approachable and chatty.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 18, 2016 6:07 pm 
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Without knowledge of the individuals in question I would just be aware that there are numerous qualities that make a great Headteacher.
It's essential that a member of senior management is 'approachable' and socially at ease but I don't think that necessarily needs to be the Head.
What is important is that the Head recognises the strengths and weaknesses of themselves and their senior team and has all bases covered.
Clearly it's not great to have a Head who doesn't actually like children or their parents but I think this is unlikely :)


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 18, 2016 6:36 pm 
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I don't think I even tried to speak to him one-to-one on the three occasions I've attended open evenings, so I can't say whether he normally hangs around chatting with parents. It's not something I would consider a deal-breaker, to be honest. Do you mean you actively sought him out but couldn't find him, or you found him but he refused to speak to you? The latter, I suppose I would find a little off-putting, admittedly.

DD preferred SHSG overall (and in any case, she didn't pass the 11+ although she subsequently passed for an in-year place) and although DS1 had a provisional offer for a sixth form place, he also chose SHSG, so I have no direct experience of Dr H's skills as a headteacher, but I have had contact with other members of the teaching and office staff at WHSG and there was nothing about my interaction with them that would put me off the school, quite the opposite.

I think it's possibly more that the HT at SHSG, like her predecessor, is particularly 'out there', rather than others are particularly not.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 18, 2016 7:25 pm 
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Thanks for your replies KB and ToadMum, very helpful!

Sorry just to clarify, I couldn't find him at the open evening. It makes sense ToadMum your description of the SHSG HT. It may be unfair of me to compare the two!

I agree with you both about the WHSG staff, they were great at the open evening. A huge positive for me and DD!


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 19, 2016 9:12 am 
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When we visited WHSG information afternoon 2 years ago I found the head teacher to be a very arrogant individual. His speech at the afternoon was awful and it completely put us off applying for a place...thankfully DD1 got a place at CCHS that year. This year I looked around SHSG on the off chance that DD2 scored high enough (she didn't), found the head to be very approachable, very considerate of DD2's special needs (she has a rare medical condition), her speech was all about the girls and not about herself(stark contrast to the WHSG). Several parents of DD2's peers have said the same thing and as a result are not going to put WHSG on their CAF.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 19, 2016 12:49 pm 
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pinkrabbit38 wrote:
When we visited WHSG information afternoon 2 years ago I found the head teacher to be a very arrogant individual. His speech at the afternoon was awful and it completely put us off applying for a place...thankfully DD1 got a place at CCHS that year. This year I looked around SHSG on the off chance that DD2 scored high enough (she didn't), found the head to be very approachable, very considerate of DD2's special needs (she has a rare medical condition), her speech was all about the girls and not about herself(stark contrast to the WHSG). Several parents of DD2's peers have said the same thing and as a result are not going to put WHSG on their CAF.


Oh No! Thanks for the info pinkrabbit38. I'm going to the information meeting tomorrow so I'll be able to see what he is like!


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 21, 2016 7:15 pm 
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I did not like him at all and he did not seem approachable. When I spoke to him for 30 seconds at an open evening he sneered that even i/c girls needed at least an average of 75% in both papers. Put me right off. So happy she went to SHSG instead


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 21, 2016 7:22 pm 
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The enquiry event I attended at WHSG two years ago was one of the most excruciating experiences of my parenting life.
Okay, so the parents kept on asking the same couple of questions repeatedly and the HT had to keep answering them repeatedly (I don't know if parents weren't listening to the answers or if they didn't understand them), but the HT was very clearly unimpressed with us all as audience and was rather brusque. If I hadn't been trapped at the end of t a row by the wall, I would have run out of there waayyyy before the end of the session.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 21, 2016 7:36 pm 
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MmeOgg wrote:
The enquiry event I attended at WHSG two years ago was one of the most excruciating experiences of my parenting life.
Okay, so the parents kept on asking the same couple of questions repeatedly and the HT had to keep answering them repeatedly (I don't know if parents weren't listening to the answers or if they didn't understand them), but the HT was very clearly unimpressed with us all as audience and was rather brusque. If I hadn't been trapped at the end of t a row by the wall, I would have run out of there waayyyy before the end of the session.


Sounds like the same one that I was at....how many different ways can people ask about the scores needed to get in and will it matter which order they put the schools down on their CAF???


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 21, 2016 8:00 pm 
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TBH (and I'm not saying that I don't agree with the comments above :shock: ), I don't think that I would make a big deal of the personality of the HT if nothing else about a school had caused disquiet. If the rest of the staff, and the pupils, seem to be getting along just fine along with or despite the HT, then given the number of times in the average year I would be likely to need to endure The Presence, I would probably just ignore it. However, if I was comparing schools that were otherwise schools I was comparing were otherwise completely equal, obviously I would tend to go with the more personable HT.

My own horror story re an open evening at WHSG.... The Head spent a great deal of time and effort making everyone fill up seats from the front of the hall. I found myself stuck behind a couple who seemed to have brought several children with them, none of whom looked anything like a girl of vaguely the relevant age. However, there was one of five or six years old, who sat swishing her hair violently from side to side for the whole time, to the point at which I seriously thought that I was going to be sick :( . Not to mention wondering whether she might be :shock:

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