Open criticism of school branded ‘unprofessional’

THERE has been some criticism in the local press recently from Ian Widdows, The Giles Academy deputy head.

The senior leadership team of Haven High Technology College believe open criticism of another school is not only unprofessional but more importantly disrespectful of its students and families.

The Interim Executive Board of St Bede’s Catholic Science College approached the governors of The Witham Schools Federation during the last academic year.

They did this because, unlike federations that have involved the academy, our collaborative working has a proven track record of success. Already students and families of St Bede’s are seeing the benefits of working in partnership through improved provision and wider opportunities for young people.

The proposal to close St Bede’s is currently in consultation and does not affect this federation partnership. Much has been made of the apparent position of schools in the county league tables. Parents recognise, if it so wishes, a school or academy can claim to be high performing simply by designing its curriculum to ensure students follow a number of BTec (none GCSE qualifications) which are each then said to be equivalent to four separate academic GCSEs.

It has not gone unnoticed all Lincolnshire schools, with the exception of one, have ensured their students follow the rigour of the same GCSE English language syllabus. English studies may have been chosen by the academy to be classed as an ‘equivalent’ in the headline figures, but is not included in the Government’s list of recognised English language GCSEs.

Thus, compared to all other Lincolnshire schools, only 13 per cent of the academy gained A*-C in both English and maths GCSE (second from bottom).

Jayne Coddington

Chairman of governors, The Boston Witham Schools Federation