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 Post subject: Pupil power gone too far
PostPosted: Sat Apr 10, 2010 4:58 pm 
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The newly appointed head at Beaconsfield High (a girls' grammar school) has quit before she even started because of a Facebook campaign agaisnt her started by students who were angry at her appointment. Pupils had been involved in the selection process but when Ms Jarrett was appointed a Facebook campaign was started. Should pupils have so much power and should Facebook campaigns etc be used in such a way? I would hope that when that when Governors appointed Ms Jarrett they did so because they felt she was the best candidate. Surely, when she quit the only losers are the school and the pupils.


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 10, 2010 5:39 pm 
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Location: Maidstone
For the life of me I do not understand why pupils should be ever given that responsibility. I hope this acts as a warning to schools to stop such a babaric act. I read about a few weeks ago that some teachers are asked to sing their favourite songs. Democracy gone too far IMHO. Kids are kids and let them be not let them become interviewers and play with other people's emotions. An interview is stressful enough let alone try to impress a bunch of kids. Surely if that new heatacher wanted to be a bit bullish about it, she could sue that school for such a stupid idea but she has done the honourable thing and moved on. That is just cyber bullying by kids on an adult and should be deplored and facebook needs to ban any groups that discusses what happens at school be it good or bad.

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 10, 2010 5:41 pm 
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Location: Buckinghamshire
I am very, very shocked indeed to hear that. It appears that the parents, staff and pupils favoured the Acting Head, Owain Johns, and initially the Facebook page was predominantly filled with positive comments about him, but it turned nasty. (It has been taken down from Facebook.)

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/educationnews/7574203/Head-teacher-forced-out-of-new-role-by-student-Facebook-campaign.html

I was contacted by someone last week about the situation at Beccy High because there was a rather unusual development. Pete Rowe, the Head of Princes Risborough Upper School - yes, a humble Upper School - had been asked to support the school during the transition phase. Pete is better known to parents on here for his witty "snow poems" that he writes for the Bucks school closures list.

PRS Easter newsletter wrote:
Beaconsfield High School for Girls has asked us if we could lend them a hand for a couple of terms as they go through the transition of appointing a new Headteacher. BHS is an ‘Outstanding’ school according to Ofsted and it is a huge compliment to all of us at PRS that they are aware of our strengths and have asked us to help. I am sure we will learn as much from them as they will from us. In light of this, over the next couple of terms I will be splitting my time between the two schools as an Executive Headteacher. Mrs Collings will step up to be Acting Head here as she did so successfully a year or so back when I spent some time up at Buckingham School.

I would like to congratulate Pete on what is undoubtedly a huge compliment to his skills as a Head.

This quote is from the same newsletter and oddly enough also makes reference to Facebook:

Quote:
Equally, if I could ban Facebook from the planet I would!
We had a highly successful ‘dealing with e-bullying’ evening a few weeks back but I would suggest that parents, rather than the school, should be monitoring their children’s use of such sites (which are not available within the school time).

I would imagine that his opinion of Facebook is now unprintable. As you say Mr Rowe, parents should be supervising what their children are posting on these wretched sites.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Apr 10, 2010 5:43 pm 
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I agree. Really, what are the judgements of a group of 14 year olds actually worth? It beggars belief that the govt sees fit to consult children on managerial issues but does not do the same for tax paying voters once in office!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Apr 10, 2010 6:45 pm 
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Good Lord. Not only do our children have to run the gauntlet of bullying via Facebook, but so do adults in their professional capacity, or so it seems.

Children are children, they may have preferences which are not entirely based on sound reasoning, because they are children. I would have thought there are many nuances of being a head teacher that completely escape the fairly egocentric point of view of a teenager. Therefore a group of children disputing or approving the appointment of head teacher really isn't appropriate.

The more I hear about social networking sites and how they apply to groups of youngsters, the more I despair about them. I so am grateful that they weren't about in the dark ages when I was a teenager!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Apr 10, 2010 7:54 pm 
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I would withdraw from any interview that gave pupils the right to have a say in my appointment.

Clearly I am ignorant as I believed that schools existed first and foremost to teach pupils, to give them the opportunity to learn to read, write etc. but it would seem that, once again, some bleeding heart has decided that giving inexperienced, uninformed minds the huge responsibility of choosing which people run their schools is a valid learning experience. What next ... a GCSE in OFSTED inspection, perhaps?

Sherry d is right. Schools should note that if you give inappropriate powers to pupils they may well use them inappropriately.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Apr 10, 2010 8:00 pm 
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I also worry about whether the school will be able to find someone else. There must have been reasons why the Acting Head (who was favoured by the children) was not appointed. Will other candidates put their names forward knowing what happened to Ms. Jarrett. I would not like to be in the shoes of the School governors now!


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 10, 2010 8:28 pm 
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Location: Buckinghamshire
It does appear from the articles in the Mail & Telegraph that quite a number of parents and members of staff strongly favoured the Acting Head being given the position. However where does that leave us? Pupils, staff and parents choosing Heads by secret ballot? Appointment by Facebook campaign? Madness.

I think the worry now has to be the possibility that the Governors could resign because their decision-making has been undermined. That would leave the school in a parlous state, but one could hardly blame them if they felt unable to continue.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Apr 10, 2010 8:31 pm 
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ks10 wrote:
I would withdraw from any interview that gave pupils the right to have a say in my appointment.

Sadly, I think that would really limit your employment chances nowadays. Most schools either use the pupil council or more informal assessment by pupils in some form when appointing new staff, including head teachers. That said, I am not sure much weight is attached to their opinions in many cases.

I am afraid I hold a very old-fashioned view about Facebook et al. Happily my children are not at all interested, and I am so glad they aren't. I find it sad that all kinds of people want to broadcast their every move and opinion to all their 'friends'; often at the expense of spending time with their 'real' friends and family. There are probably more lonely people around now than ever before, and yet we are all supposed to have so many more 'friends'. I feel sorry in my heart for this poor woman; those responsible (and their parents, yes, I agree, Sally Anne) should be hanging their heads in shame.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Apr 10, 2010 8:45 pm 
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KS10 wrote:
I would withdraw from any interview that gave pupils the right to have a say in my appointment.

.


Agreed - I think it is outrageous. Kids are not considered old enough to vote and certainly not old enough to give a sensible opinion about what makes a good head teacher. They can only be aware of a small fraction of the head work and roles.

I would not be surprised if there are some resignations - after all one could say that they had bought the school into disrepute by there actions.


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