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 Post subject: Burnham Concerns
PostPosted: Fri Oct 25, 2019 7:54 pm 
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Joined: Thu Oct 24, 2019 11:40 pm
Posts: 2
I visited Burnham Grammar last week and had a very engaging presentation on the school - I was really impressed and was looking to put top of the CAF choices for my DS.

Randomly I spoke to a family friend yesterday, with 3 children at BGS, who mentioned that the school had brought sniffer dogs into the school to check for drugs (none found). This is a genuine feedback he gave. I was completly shocked.

My oldest is 10, so maybe I am a bit naive about what teenagers do (It was 30 years ago for me).

I am now really torn... Had the school been open about this in the presentation I may have seen this as a positive approach, now I feel really concerned it is something they chosen not to face into. Not a great start to be picking a school with a concern over trust.

I am sure other schools have similar problems. Just wasn't expecting this at a grammer..

I am now thinking Herschel (Similar Distance from home and within 4 mile radius) may be a better option.

Is there any parents with children at Burnham to add any more context to help?

CG


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 Post subject: Re: Burnham Concerns
PostPosted: Fri Oct 25, 2019 8:02 pm 
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Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 5:27 pm
Posts: 4958
Location: london
Not a BGS parent I'm afraid but
CG76 wrote:
Randomly I spoke to a family friend yesterday, with 3 children at BGS, who mentioned that the school had brought sniffer dogs into the school to check for drugs (none found).
Good!
CG76 wrote:
I was completly shocked. My oldest is 10, so maybe I am a bit naive about what teenagers do (It was 30 years ago for me).
Brace yourself for secondary! But great that the school did this and also that they found none, not convinced that would be the case in most schools I'm afraid.
CG76 wrote:
Just wasn't expecting this at a grammer.
Why? Grammars are just schools with kids who have passed a test aged 10, nothing more nothing less.
I'm sure someone with personal experience will be along soon, but if it is of any interest given the choice I would have gone for BGS over Herschel for my DDs.
Good luck

_________________
mad?


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 Post subject: Re: Burnham Concerns
PostPosted: Fri Oct 25, 2019 8:26 pm 
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Joined: Mon Mar 15, 2010 2:45 pm
Posts: 7299
They've been doing this for some time. All parents and pupils were informed a couple of years ago. I see it as a positive. All schools have drugs in them, anything the school can do to keep them off the premises is a good thing, as far as I'm concerned. Any school that says none of it's pupils take drugs is like a school that says there is no bullying. It's how they deal with it that is important.

ETA I've just re-read your post. I'm not sure why grammar schools should be any different to other schools in terms of drugs etc?


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 Post subject: Re: Burnham Concerns
PostPosted: Fri Oct 25, 2019 8:30 pm 
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Joined: Thu Oct 24, 2019 11:40 pm
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Thanks both for feedback.

Making me very nervous about my little ones getting big.


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 Post subject: Re: Burnham Concerns
PostPosted: Fri Oct 25, 2019 8:34 pm 
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Joined: Mon Mar 15, 2010 2:45 pm
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CG76 wrote:
Thanks both for feedback.

Making me very nervous about my little ones getting big.

That's perfectly normal! They grow up very quickly.
I've had 3 go through BGS so please ask if you have any questions.


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 Post subject: Re: Burnham Concerns
PostPosted: Fri Oct 25, 2019 10:05 pm 
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Joined: Sun Dec 20, 2015 5:24 pm
Posts: 681
I’m a BGs parent.

Don’t be concerned: the sniffer dog visits are clearly explained by the school as a deterrent. they don’t actually expect children to be bringing drugs to the school, but publically announcing the doggie visit gives any kids who are offered drugs by a third party a cast-iron excuse to say no to whoever offers them “as it’s not my fault, stupid school would find them”.

BGS itself is a very sensible school in terms of approach and discipline and I don’t know of any seriously tearaway types (child in year 9).

They also highly prioritise children’s mental health and pastoral care and I am generally very impressed with their attitude to getting the kids to be self responsible.

hope that helps.


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 Post subject: Re: Burnham Concerns
PostPosted: Fri Oct 25, 2019 11:02 pm 
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Joined: Tue Oct 18, 2016 1:10 pm
Posts: 33
Hi

I have two children at BGS.

Please do not be concerned by this. BGS absolutely does not have a drug problem. The sniffer dogs thing is something they just have conducted periodically as a matter of routine. Perhaps it is one of the reasons why there is no problem. It is conducted in a non threatening way and at the start of every year it is explained to the new year 7s. Certainly since my eldest has been there, such visits have never detected any drugs on the premises.

The headmaster wouldn’t have said anything because there is absolutely nothing to explain or to hide. BGS seems to be one of the very best when it comes to looking at the pressures pupils may face and finding ways to stamp out problems before they even start. I think the majority of secondary schools have these kind of routine inspections anyway; you just happen to have heard about it in relation to this school. Grammars wouldn’t be any different to any other type of school in this respect. Why would they be?


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 Post subject: Re: Burnham Concerns
PostPosted: Sat Oct 26, 2019 1:15 am 
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Joined: Fri Sep 15, 2017 3:19 pm
Posts: 60
Oh definitely don't be alarmed by it. If anything it's a good thing that a school is so proactive at discouraging drug use rather than being in denial of the fact that issues with them exist. Especially needed with the existence of county lines child exploitation and increased knife crime at the moment. They inform kids and parents beforehand and the exercise is there to educate the children rather than scare or catch anyone out.

I have personally been very impressed with their pastoral care. My DC also recently told me that the school now has a special therapy dog to help children dealing with anxiety and stress. Not sure if anyone can more reliably confirm details on this as it came from my often inaccurate child? BGS seem to be a very forward thinking school in my personal opinion.

I do understand your anxiety as I was a bit surprised when I first heard about these checks but I guess that is because I don't remember drugs being such a common issue in society when I was at school. I know Upton Grammar had metal detectors in school in the past though. It is sad and it does make me anxious but I guess education is the best way to steer them away from bad choices.


Last edited by KatharineB on Mon Oct 28, 2019 9:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Burnham Concerns
PostPosted: Sat Oct 26, 2019 6:28 pm 
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Joined: Sun Dec 20, 2015 5:24 pm
Posts: 681
KatherineB, I asked my DD about the presence of a BGS therapy dog
(I assume this counts as suitably reliable!!)
The reply was
“ooh yes, it’s a dog called Peaches and she’s ADORABLE!”
Apparently the school consulted “other schools with a reputation for good pastoral care and they all had therapy dogs, so school decided one would be helpful!

My DD2 is at Langley Academy and they have just got one too, this must be a current “thing”.....


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 Post subject: Re: Burnham Concerns
PostPosted: Sat Oct 26, 2019 6:42 pm 
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Joined: Thu Dec 11, 2008 9:42 pm
Posts: 919
I thought all schools had the sniffer dogs in periodically? My children are at SWBGS and they certainly have on a couple of occasions over the years tying in with relevant assemblies.

I think it’s a good thing. Education on these things is key plus pp mentioned the situation with County Lines. Drugs are everywhere and all we can hope is our young people make wise choices. My ds commented when he came back from Reading this year that it was far easier to buy drugs then fill your water bottle!

A school I’ve worked in (not Bucks but an excellent school in a very nice town) had ks3 students selling drugs.


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