Full story: Highcrest teachers set to strike

Bucks Free Press: Full story: Highcrest teachers set to strike Full story: Highcrest teachers set to strike

HIGHCREST Academy is facing strike action from teachers next week.

Up to 38 staff from the academy in High Wycombe could strike on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday next week, union bosses have announced, with further action planned for the week after.

Deputy Principal Ian Newton said emergency talks are planned for Monday in a bid to prevent the strike but warned parents that the academy may be unable to teach all year groups if staff walk out.

The proposed action by members of the NUT and NASUWT trade unions comes after four teachers, represented by the NUT, were deducted pay for failing to attend an appraisal on an inset day.

Highcrest said staff had been allocated half-a-day to prepare for, and take part in, the performance management meeting and their failure to attend was deemed to be a breach of contract.

The academy docked the teachers half-a-day’s wages as a result, with two of members of staff also having a managerial bonus revoked.

But union chiefs say the “punitive fines” were unfairly imposed as their members were still on site working as usual and the appraisal would have only lasted about 30 minutes, not warranting the half-day fine.

The staff stayed away from the performance meeting as part of a ‘lawful campaign’ to improve working conditions, in which teachers were instructed not to attend appraisals unless they met a union checklist - which Highcrest's didn't.

In a statement, Annette Pryce, Bucks County Secretary for the NUT, said: “The NUT is currently involved in a national workload dispute under the banner Protecting Teachers, Defending Education alongside NASUWT.

“Our action is intended to improve the working lives of teachers, at the same time as delivering improvements for the young people they teach.

“Our experience is that most schools have welcomed the opportunity to review working practices and have recognised that rather than disrupting students’ education, our action enhances it.

“Unfortunately, this has not been the case at Highcrest where union members have had pay deductions for taking part in that action; despite repeated attempts to negotiate a reasonable policy for appraisal.

“The teachers at Highcrest are dedicated and hardworking, who believe that their students deserve to have teachers with working conditions that enable them to deliver their very best for the students they teach.

“They seek a positive and fair resolution and remain hopeful that they can avoid the necessity for strike action through constructive talks in order to resolve the dispute.”

NASUWT called the actions of Highcrest management “unprofessional, threatening and intimidating” and demanded the academy hands back the fines before it could call its members off.

In a statement, NASUWT’s General Secretary Chris Keates said: “Following a lawful national ballot, teachers at Highcrest Academy, like the overwhelming majority of teachers across the country, are making a stand against undertaking tasks which distract them from their core role of teaching, and which do not require their skills as qualified teachers.

“The teachers at Highcrest have continued to prepare for and teach their lessons, mark and assess pupils’ work and carry out all those tasks which, in their professional judgement, assist them in focusing on teaching and learning. All clubs and activities which teachers run voluntarily in their own time are continuing.

“Yet despite this, punitive financial deductions have been made from teachers’ wages by the school and teachers have been subject to actions by the school management which they have found grossly unprofessional, threatening and intimidating.

“Not one single pupil has had their education disrupted or compromised by anything the teachers have done prior to being forced to take action.

“The teachers have no wish to disrupt the education of pupils, but they have been forced into this position by the unreasonable, punitive behaviour of their employer.

“As a result of this, the NUT and NASUWT, representing the overwhelming majority of the staff, have been forced to issue notices of strike action in protest at these unfair and unjust actions and to seek the withdrawal of these punitive financial deductions.”

The unions confirmed the action would be ‘sustained’ and members would be reimbursed for the pay they will lose as a result of striking.

Highcrest sent home a letter to all parents on Tuesday stating that a significant number of teachers will work as normal, with education for the younger year groups prioritised to help parents with childcare.

Normal lessons for Year 11 and sixth form students will also be held if their teachers do not strike, but doubts remain over middle year groups.

But the academy was standing by its appraisal system, which it said meets new OFSTED and the Department for Education guidelines.

In a statement, Chair of Governors at Highcrest, Jan Thomas, said: “This strike action follows the new government appraisal policy which was only adopted following a full consultation with the staff.

“At the request of the staff, the policy was amended significantly and half-a-day was allocated to staff to attend their appraisal meetings.

“Four NUT members refused to attend their appraisal meetings and two of these also refused to appraise their departments, which is part of their management role.

“As a consequence, the pay for the half a day which wasn’t worked was removed. This reflects the number of hours they refused to work.

“In addition, a small proportion of the extra management allowance, not their salary, was removed from the two members of staff who had a management responsibility to appraise those in their departments. No disciplinary action was taken against any member of staff.

“We are following policies required by the government but feel the unions are being unreasonable. We have asked for them to give us details as to who is striking to allow us to cover as many classes as possible and cause as little disruption as we can, but they have refused. This leaves parents in a difficult situation for arranging childcare.

“I want to emphasise that it is down to each individual member of staff as to whether they strike or not and we are shocked and saddened by the realisation that the staff choosing to strike are clearly not putting the welfare and education of the children first.”

But Mrs Pryce from the NUT said it had given the academy the required strike notice period and the exact number of members who could strike.

She added teachers cared for their students and regret any inconvenience to parents, but striking was the “last resort” as the academy’s appraisal policy “does not meet union standards”.

New regulations on teacher appraisals were brought in by the government last month following a public consultation.

The previous three-hour limit on classroom observation was abolished to give schools, academies and the local education authority more freedom to design their own policies to manage teacher performance.

Comments (37)

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1:28pm Sat 17 Nov 12

Welwyn Dowd says...

Several of them are professional politicians from either the Tory or LibDem Parties but that doesn't count really.
Several of them are professional politicians from either the Tory or LibDem Parties but that doesn't count really. Welwyn Dowd
  • Score: 0

2:13pm Sat 17 Nov 12

BecksH says...

I wonder if the chair of governors realises the contradictions in her own statement or understands the government policy regime to which she refers. On the one hand she says the school consulted fully with teachers on the new appraisal policies, on the other hand she says the policies are required by government. The existence of the appraisal process may be a statutory requirement but the content and processes are discretionary and it is simply incorrect to say that the specific demands being placed on teachers at Highcrest are 'required by the government'.

Furthermore, how can the governors and management team at Highcrest be in any way helping to re-build trust and effective working relationships with the teaching body when they accuse them of not putting the 'welfare and education of the children first'. This accusation could be just as easily levelled at the school management whose actions have brought on the strike, but the point is that it is not true of either side in the dispute. Both sides believe that what they are doing is ultimately in the best interests of the children at the school - it is quite possible to disagree honourably and it would be much preferable not to sling mud at each other in the process.

My personal view is that if the teachers hold their ground and continue to put their case through dialogue and legitimate action, they will ultimately be securing a much better educational experience for the students at that school. I admire their courage and determination, and I imagine many of the students at the school do too.
I wonder if the chair of governors realises the contradictions in her own statement or understands the government policy regime to which she refers. On the one hand she says the school consulted fully with teachers on the new appraisal policies, on the other hand she says the policies are required by government. The existence of the appraisal process may be a statutory requirement but the content and processes are discretionary and it is simply incorrect to say that the specific demands being placed on teachers at Highcrest are 'required by the government'. Furthermore, how can the governors and management team at Highcrest be in any way helping to re-build trust and effective working relationships with the teaching body when they accuse them of not putting the 'welfare and education of the children first'. This accusation could be just as easily levelled at the school management whose actions have brought on the strike, but the point is that it is not true of either side in the dispute. Both sides believe that what they are doing is ultimately in the best interests of the children at the school - it is quite possible to disagree honourably and it would be much preferable not to sling mud at each other in the process. My personal view is that if the teachers hold their ground and continue to put their case through dialogue and legitimate action, they will ultimately be securing a much better educational experience for the students at that school. I admire their courage and determination, and I imagine many of the students at the school do too. BecksH
  • Score: 0

2:36pm Sat 17 Nov 12

Voyeur says...

Almost every high school in Bucks is either a grammar school or an Academy School. The other Academy Schools seem to be operating well at the moment so what is Highcrest doing that is so much different?
.
I expect the new Highcrest Admissions Policy will be the next bun fight when parents living near the school realise that children from other areas are being admitted to Highcrest and their own children have to travel miles to another school, if they are lucky enough to get a place elsewhere.
Almost every high school in Bucks is either a grammar school or an Academy School. The other Academy Schools seem to be operating well at the moment so what is Highcrest doing that is so much different? . I expect the new Highcrest Admissions Policy will be the next bun fight when parents living near the school realise that children from other areas are being admitted to Highcrest and their own children have to travel miles to another school, if they are lucky enough to get a place elsewhere. Voyeur
  • Score: 0

2:54pm Sat 17 Nov 12

faircuppa says...

Blue Labour at it again! Too cowardly to take on the grammar schools, love to pick on someone. Blue Labour miffed cos has no governor in its pocket. Blue rinse Labour runs Cressex and is not declaring its interest.
Blue Labour at it again! Too cowardly to take on the grammar schools, love to pick on someone. Blue Labour miffed cos has no governor in its pocket. Blue rinse Labour runs Cressex and is not declaring its interest. faircuppa
  • Score: 0

4:20pm Sat 17 Nov 12

Radio Al says...

If I didn't attend an appraisal or other arranged meeting at work I too would expect some sort of action so why do teachers feel it should be any different for them?

Typical union response, completely out of proportion and rather than dealing with it like adults they act worse than children throwing a tantrum - impacting innocent families and children's education.

So teachers, grow up and deal with it!
If I didn't attend an appraisal or other arranged meeting at work I too would expect some sort of action so why do teachers feel it should be any different for them? Typical union response, completely out of proportion and rather than dealing with it like adults they act worse than children throwing a tantrum - impacting innocent families and children's education. So teachers, grow up and deal with it! Radio Al
  • Score: 0

4:33pm Sat 17 Nov 12

bonkers2010 says...

Just have a flick through the law section on bbc5.tv john harris explains whats really going on
Just have a flick through the law section on bbc5.tv john harris explains whats really going on bonkers2010
  • Score: 0

5:43pm Sat 17 Nov 12

Lividov says...

all or nothing - why can't either side compromise?
all or nothing - why can't either side compromise? Lividov
  • Score: 0

8:56pm Sat 17 Nov 12

BOOKERite says...

What a very sorry situation, I am not sure who is trying to bully who. But I would say to those striking teachers you are setting our children a dreadful example.
What a very sorry situation, I am not sure who is trying to bully who. But I would say to those striking teachers you are setting our children a dreadful example. BOOKERite
  • Score: 0

11:00pm Sat 17 Nov 12

Stand up for England says...

When unions start running the show and dictating how a business is run, it's a preamble to disaster in the long term ... British Leyland, North East ship building, coal mines of the north etc, etc... Eventually, the customers, not receiving the service that they expect go elsewhere and the business folds. The workers then have no jobs and blame the business bosses. The union leaders/secretaries whatever then move on to the next cause they can champion, still with a job, still being paid. Scargill would be a good example. There is always disputes, it's a fact of life but you concede something to get something back, all in moderation and being fair so the business can continue. Both sides are there for one purpose; educate children and if your own ego's, irrespective of the side your on, get in the way of that, then your in the wrong job and you should move aside. The whole situation is pathetic and all involved in this should look inward more and outward less. A literary proverb, "We have found the problem, the problem is us".
When unions start running the show and dictating how a business is run, it's a preamble to disaster in the long term ... British Leyland, North East ship building, coal mines of the north etc, etc... Eventually, the customers, not receiving the service that they expect go elsewhere and the business folds. The workers then have no jobs and blame the business bosses. The union leaders/secretaries whatever then move on to the next cause they can champion, still with a job, still being paid. Scargill would be a good example. There is always disputes, it's a fact of life but you concede something to get something back, all in moderation and being fair so the business can continue. Both sides are there for one purpose; educate children and if your own ego's, irrespective of the side your on, get in the way of that, then your in the wrong job and you should move aside. The whole situation is pathetic and all involved in this should look inward more and outward less. A literary proverb, "We have found the problem, the problem is us". Stand up for England
  • Score: 0

11:16pm Sat 17 Nov 12

faircuppa says...

Bullying of volunteers by Blue Labour on this website cannot be condoned. Labour has the blues because it cannot control Highcrest in the way it does Cressex.
The Blue Labour contingent cannot run anything and tries to pull down those that suceed. Pattern seen before, Blue Labour needs closing down.
Bullying of volunteers by Blue Labour on this website cannot be condoned. Labour has the blues because it cannot control Highcrest in the way it does Cressex. The Blue Labour contingent cannot run anything and tries to pull down those that suceed. Pattern seen before, Blue Labour needs closing down. faircuppa
  • Score: 0

12:16am Sun 18 Nov 12

itstheprincipal says...

I read these posts with great interest now, I always enjoy trying to work out which posts have been pulled & the possible reasons why! I presume the first two were pulled because they mentioned where the Chair of Governors worked? I myself won’t mention her by name or where she works, but I will question whether she is strong enough for the job. With the position of ‘Chair’ she has a great responsibility to the children, teachers/staff & to the community, she needs to be sure of her facts & the latest regulations. On this occasion she needs to re-check her statement ...’the Academy was following policies required by the Government...’ This is not true, this policy as she should have known is not required from an academy, or is it another case of the school trying to pull the wool over the eyes of the staff, public, local community & the BFP, & not for the first time.
Under the Governments new arrangements for teacher appraisal and capability on the Department of Education’s website it clearly states & I quote ...’These regulations DO NOT apply in academies, Free Schools, other independent schools or sixth-form colleges...’
To faircuppa I say this, I am not labour in any shape or form, in fact where education is concerned politicians of all parties get too involved for my liking. I certainly am not & have not been involved with the RGS or Cressex. You on the other hand believe everything Highcrest tell you & put out in the BFP, that is your prerogative. This is not about losing the battle about the selection tests, although I freely admit I was against them as were a lot of other people. This is about a strike that could/should be avoided. It is quite clear that Highcrest are ‘telling porkies’ about the new government regulations, DofE clearly state these are not required, no other academies in Bucks have brought them in. Highcrest senior management are clearly being selective about the truth concerning the four staff members whose pay they docked. Clearly the NUT, staff both past & present believe there is bullying & intimidation going on & possibly has been for years. Clearly from comments on this & the other column the local community are not impressed at the goings by Highcrests senior management or the way they have been treated.
So to faircuppa whether I am a blue labour, turquoise Tory, or a tangerine independent, I prefer to deal in facts. There are enough facts to show that all isn’t what it seems, & there is enough smoke to think ‘hmmm’ there might be a fire here. This is not a witch-hunt but too many names & facts about untruths & bullying have come to light for it to be swept under the carpet. I maintain what I said yesterday...” it is becoming quite obvious that this intended strike is about far more than four members of staff losing half a day’s pay.
The governors need to start enquiries now, however any investigation needs to be done by an outside body.
I myself will be contacting BCC, Dept of Education & Ofsted this weekend to demand that Highcrest be investigated, I urge others to do the same even if it is just a link to this forum, questions need to be answered".
I read these posts with great interest now, I always enjoy trying to work out which posts have been pulled & the possible reasons why! I presume the first two were pulled because they mentioned where the Chair of Governors worked? I myself won’t mention her by name or where she works, but I will question whether she is strong enough for the job. With the position of ‘Chair’ she has a great responsibility to the children, teachers/staff & to the community, she needs to be sure of her facts & the latest regulations. On this occasion she needs to re-check her statement ...’the Academy was following policies required by the Government...’ This is not true, this policy as she should have known is not required from an academy, or is it another case of the school trying to pull the wool over the eyes of the staff, public, local community & the BFP, & not for the first time. Under the Governments new arrangements for teacher appraisal and capability on the Department of Education’s website it clearly states & I quote ...’These regulations DO NOT apply in academies, Free Schools, other independent schools or sixth-form colleges...’ To faircuppa I say this, I am not labour in any shape or form, in fact where education is concerned politicians of all parties get too involved for my liking. I certainly am not & have not been involved with the RGS or Cressex. You on the other hand believe everything Highcrest tell you & put out in the BFP, that is your prerogative. This is not about losing the battle about the selection tests, although I freely admit I was against them as were a lot of other people. This is about a strike that could/should be avoided. It is quite clear that Highcrest are ‘telling porkies’ about the new government regulations, DofE clearly state these are not required, no other academies in Bucks have brought them in. Highcrest senior management are clearly being selective about the truth concerning the four staff members whose pay they docked. Clearly the NUT, staff both past & present believe there is bullying & intimidation going on & possibly has been for years. Clearly from comments on this & the other column the local community are not impressed at the goings by Highcrests senior management or the way they have been treated. So to faircuppa whether I am a blue labour, turquoise Tory, or a tangerine independent, I prefer to deal in facts. There are enough facts to show that all isn’t what it seems, & there is enough smoke to think ‘hmmm’ there might be a fire here. This is not a witch-hunt but too many names & facts about untruths & bullying have come to light for it to be swept under the carpet. I maintain what I said yesterday...” it is becoming quite obvious that this intended strike is about far more than four members of staff losing half a day’s pay. The governors need to start enquiries now, however any investigation needs to be done by an outside body. I myself will be contacting BCC, Dept of Education & Ofsted this weekend to demand that Highcrest be investigated, I urge others to do the same even if it is just a link to this forum, questions need to be answered". itstheprincipal
  • Score: 0

12:27am Sun 18 Nov 12

faircuppa says...

Blue Labour have been bullying Highcrest since it became an academy. That is a fact, apart from you everyone else is Blue Labour on this page. It is this bullying that should be investigated and I will be contacting Ed Miliband this week-end.
Blue Labour have been bullying Highcrest since it became an academy. That is a fact, apart from you everyone else is Blue Labour on this page. It is this bullying that should be investigated and I will be contacting Ed Miliband this week-end. faircuppa
  • Score: 0

12:39am Sun 18 Nov 12

Welwyn Dowd says...

Both my daughters are at the High School and just like any other parent I know who works in the school office. It's hardly an official secret! The former chair of governors was a general election candidate for the LibDems a few years ago or are we rewriting history too?
Both my daughters are at the High School and just like any other parent I know who works in the school office. It's hardly an official secret! The former chair of governors was a general election candidate for the LibDems a few years ago or are we rewriting history too? Welwyn Dowd
  • Score: 0

1:16am Sun 18 Nov 12

faircuppa says...

Just because you know who works in the office where your daughters go to school, it does not mean you have to publish it on the website. Do your daughters know that you are after one of their school adminstrators?
Have they given you permission to behave in this way?
The Liberal Democrat candidate for the General Election in 1992 has sadly passed away, he was much loved and an excellent Chair of Highcrest. He would be very distressed at the current demonising of the school and its Head. I doubt he would have been surprised as he knew what Blue Labour were like.
Just because you know who works in the office where your daughters go to school, it does not mean you have to publish it on the website. Do your daughters know that you are after one of their school adminstrators? Have they given you permission to behave in this way? The Liberal Democrat candidate for the General Election in 1992 has sadly passed away, he was much loved and an excellent Chair of Highcrest. He would be very distressed at the current demonising of the school and its Head. I doubt he would have been surprised as he knew what Blue Labour were like. faircuppa
  • Score: 0

1:52am Sun 18 Nov 12

faircuppa says...

Welwyn Dowd wrote:
Several of them are professional politicians from either the Tory or LibDem Parties but that doesn't count really.
None of them are -not a single one.
[quote][p][bold]Welwyn Dowd[/bold] wrote: Several of them are professional politicians from either the Tory or LibDem Parties but that doesn't count really.[/p][/quote]None of them are -not a single one. faircuppa
  • Score: 0

1:58am Sun 18 Nov 12

faircuppa says...

BecksH wrote:
I wonder if the chair of governors realises the contradictions in her own statement or understands the government policy regime to which she refers. On the one hand she says the school consulted fully with teachers on the new appraisal policies, on the other hand she says the policies are required by government. The existence of the appraisal process may be a statutory requirement but the content and processes are discretionary and it is simply incorrect to say that the specific demands being placed on teachers at Highcrest are 'required by the government'.

Furthermore, how can the governors and management team at Highcrest be in any way helping to re-build trust and effective working relationships with the teaching body when they accuse them of not putting the 'welfare and education of the children first'. This accusation could be just as easily levelled at the school management whose actions have brought on the strike, but the point is that it is not true of either side in the dispute. Both sides believe that what they are doing is ultimately in the best interests of the children at the school - it is quite possible to disagree honourably and it would be much preferable not to sling mud at each other in the process.

My personal view is that if the teachers hold their ground and continue to put their case through dialogue and legitimate action, they will ultimately be securing a much better educational experience for the students at that school. I admire their courage and determination, and I imagine many of the students at the school do too.
Spoken like a true High School girl! Why do you not apply your analysis to the grammar schools in the area? Just jumping on the bandwagon following your unsuccessful representations to the Schools adjudicator!!! Should you acknowledge a conflict of interest when discussing Highcrest? Just asking!
[quote][p][bold]BecksH[/bold] wrote: I wonder if the chair of governors realises the contradictions in her own statement or understands the government policy regime to which she refers. On the one hand she says the school consulted fully with teachers on the new appraisal policies, on the other hand she says the policies are required by government. The existence of the appraisal process may be a statutory requirement but the content and processes are discretionary and it is simply incorrect to say that the specific demands being placed on teachers at Highcrest are 'required by the government'. Furthermore, how can the governors and management team at Highcrest be in any way helping to re-build trust and effective working relationships with the teaching body when they accuse them of not putting the 'welfare and education of the children first'. This accusation could be just as easily levelled at the school management whose actions have brought on the strike, but the point is that it is not true of either side in the dispute. Both sides believe that what they are doing is ultimately in the best interests of the children at the school - it is quite possible to disagree honourably and it would be much preferable not to sling mud at each other in the process. My personal view is that if the teachers hold their ground and continue to put their case through dialogue and legitimate action, they will ultimately be securing a much better educational experience for the students at that school. I admire their courage and determination, and I imagine many of the students at the school do too.[/p][/quote]Spoken like a true High School girl! Why do you not apply your analysis to the grammar schools in the area? Just jumping on the bandwagon following your unsuccessful representations to the Schools adjudicator!!! Should you acknowledge a conflict of interest when discussing Highcrest? Just asking! faircuppa
  • Score: 0

2:04am Sun 18 Nov 12

faircuppa says...

Voyeur wrote:
Almost every high school in Bucks is either a grammar school or an Academy School. The other Academy Schools seem to be operating well at the moment so what is Highcrest doing that is so much different?
.
I expect the new Highcrest Admissions Policy will be the next bun fight when parents living near the school realise that children from other areas are being admitted to Highcrest and their own children have to travel miles to another school, if they are lucky enough to get a place elsewhere.
Seems unlikely,as the school has been oversubscibed for years. Plus the arguments put forward on this very subject by Blue Labour to the Schools Adjudicator, were completely debunked.
Why is Cressex School in partnership with Wycombe Abbey, by the way?
Does Blue Labour want Blue money?
Whenever there is a bunfight, you come off badly, less buns might help.
[quote][p][bold]Voyeur[/bold] wrote: Almost every high school in Bucks is either a grammar school or an Academy School. The other Academy Schools seem to be operating well at the moment so what is Highcrest doing that is so much different? . I expect the new Highcrest Admissions Policy will be the next bun fight when parents living near the school realise that children from other areas are being admitted to Highcrest and their own children have to travel miles to another school, if they are lucky enough to get a place elsewhere.[/p][/quote]Seems unlikely,as the school has been oversubscibed for years. Plus the arguments put forward on this very subject by Blue Labour to the Schools Adjudicator, were completely debunked. Why is Cressex School in partnership with Wycombe Abbey, by the way? Does Blue Labour want Blue money? Whenever there is a bunfight, you come off badly, less buns might help. faircuppa
  • Score: 0

9:14am Sun 18 Nov 12

Littleskyfall says...

I am sorry Faircuppa but you are wrong I am also NOT blue Labour, and I am sure most entries on here are nothing to do with which political party you support. Most from what I can tell are parents, possibly staff or ex staff, and local people concerned about 'our' children. But if this means supporting their teachers in a crisis then I am behind them. I do not want my children to have teachers who are not 'happy' in their working environment. As the song says 'Children are our future, teach them well and let them lead the way'
I am sorry Faircuppa but you are wrong I am also NOT blue Labour, and I am sure most entries on here are nothing to do with which political party you support. Most from what I can tell are parents, possibly staff or ex staff, and local people concerned about 'our' children. But if this means supporting their teachers in a crisis then I am behind them. I do not want my children to have teachers who are not 'happy' in their working environment. As the song says 'Children are our future, teach them well and let them lead the way' Littleskyfall
  • Score: 0

10:51am Sun 18 Nov 12

faircuppa says...

Do you seriously think all teachers are happy in all the other schools in Wycombe. Do you think there is no sickness absence and turnover at Cressex, William Ramsey, Wye Valley?
The majority of staff are quite happy at Highcrest, but are dismayed by the continual attacks on their school by Blue Labour. Let us look at Cressex, they are 2nd from bottom in Bucks and do not even dare publish governors names on their website. Let us move the focus to some of the failing primary schools. You will find imperfections, no doubt. You may not be Blue Labour, so it is your responsibility to look at why you are colluding with that pack.
Do you seriously think all teachers are happy in all the other schools in Wycombe. Do you think there is no sickness absence and turnover at Cressex, William Ramsey, Wye Valley? The majority of staff are quite happy at Highcrest, but are dismayed by the continual attacks on their school by Blue Labour. Let us look at Cressex, they are 2nd from bottom in Bucks and do not even dare publish governors names on their website. Let us move the focus to some of the failing primary schools. You will find imperfections, no doubt. You may not be Blue Labour, so it is your responsibility to look at why you are colluding with that pack. faircuppa
  • Score: 0

11:42am Sun 18 Nov 12

Welwyn Dowd says...

faircuppa wrote:
Blue Labour have been bullying Highcrest since it became an academy. That is a fact, apart from you everyone else is Blue Labour on this page. It is this bullying that should be investigated and I will be contacting Ed Miliband this week-end.
Hey faircuppa, has Ed got back to you yet?
[quote][p][bold]faircuppa[/bold] wrote: Blue Labour have been bullying Highcrest since it became an academy. That is a fact, apart from you everyone else is Blue Labour on this page. It is this bullying that should be investigated and I will be contacting Ed Miliband this week-end.[/p][/quote]Hey faircuppa, has Ed got back to you yet? Welwyn Dowd
  • Score: 0

12:31pm Sun 18 Nov 12

itstheprincipal says...

My complaints have now been e-mailed to the following Bucks County Council (customerservices@bu
ckscc.gov.uk) Dept for Education (https://www.educati
on.gov.uk/schools/le
adership/schoolperfo
rmance/school-compla
ints-form) Secretary of State for Education (ministers @education.gsi.gov.u
k) & Ofsted (enquiries@ofsted.go
v.uk). Anybody unhappy with the school/management should do the same, if you don’t want to write a long winded complaint just send them a link to this & the other BFP article & ask for further investigation.
I’ll deal with faircuppa & his uncontrollable rantings later (does anybody fully understand him/her or is s/he in a world of his/her own!).
My complaints have now been e-mailed to the following Bucks County Council (customerservices@bu ckscc.gov.uk) Dept for Education (https://www.educati on.gov.uk/schools/le adership/schoolperfo rmance/school-compla ints-form) Secretary of State for Education (ministers @education.gsi.gov.u k) & Ofsted (enquiries@ofsted.go v.uk). Anybody unhappy with the school/management should do the same, if you don’t want to write a long winded complaint just send them a link to this & the other BFP article & ask for further investigation. I’ll deal with faircuppa & his uncontrollable rantings later (does anybody fully understand him/her or is s/he in a world of his/her own!). itstheprincipal
  • Score: 0

12:56pm Sun 18 Nov 12

Littleskyfall says...

I am a professional person who is not going to get into a slanging match with Faircuppa. I am not colluding with anyone. I have no idea why you are bringing other schools into the equation. As for Cressex as far as I know they are a very good school, the reason for them having lower than average results is because the majority of their pupils are from families who do not speak,read or write English. But their support for their pupils and staff is admirable.
I am a professional person who is not going to get into a slanging match with Faircuppa. I am not colluding with anyone. I have no idea why you are bringing other schools into the equation. As for Cressex as far as I know they are a very good school, the reason for them having lower than average results is because the majority of their pupils are from families who do not speak,read or write English. But their support for their pupils and staff is admirable. Littleskyfall
  • Score: 0

3:02pm Sun 18 Nov 12

faircuppa says...

Faircuppa is bemused as to what the actual complaints are about Highcrest from Skyfall or Its the Principal. Surely no school is perfection incaranate. Sir Willian Ramsay is rumoured to have gangs' for example, should this be investigated.
The complaints against Highcrest apart from you two are all Blue Labour e.g. very Conservative Labour.
Faircuppa is bemused as to what the actual complaints are about Highcrest from Skyfall or Its the Principal. Surely no school is perfection incaranate. Sir Willian Ramsay is rumoured to have gangs' for example, should this be investigated. The complaints against Highcrest apart from you two are all Blue Labour e.g. very Conservative Labour. faircuppa
  • Score: 0

3:37pm Sun 18 Nov 12

Welwyn Dowd says...

I've always considered my views to be far to the left of Labour, more WRP or SWP on a good day. I don't know how that 's described in spectroscopic terms - vermillion with a hint of scarlet?
I've always considered my views to be far to the left of Labour, more WRP or SWP on a good day. I don't know how that 's described in spectroscopic terms - vermillion with a hint of scarlet? Welwyn Dowd
  • Score: 0

5:41pm Sun 18 Nov 12

faircuppa says...

The main point is that Highcrest staff, management parents and governors have done a fantastic job in turning around the old Hatters Lane. They have lifted up educational opportunity and the whole culture of East Wycombe over the last 10 years.
What matters to me is the type of feedback I hear about Highcrest. Grandparents who are thrilled at their grandchildren's success. Parents whose children were underperforming at primary schools. There are thousands of people out there whose lives have been positively affected by Sheana Monihan and the whole school efforts.
It's a nasty minority who are trying to discredit that,
The main point is that Highcrest staff, management parents and governors have done a fantastic job in turning around the old Hatters Lane. They have lifted up educational opportunity and the whole culture of East Wycombe over the last 10 years. What matters to me is the type of feedback I hear about Highcrest. Grandparents who are thrilled at their grandchildren's success. Parents whose children were underperforming at primary schools. There are thousands of people out there whose lives have been positively affected by Sheana Monihan and the whole school efforts. It's a nasty minority who are trying to discredit that, faircuppa
  • Score: 0

5:54pm Sun 18 Nov 12

yog says...

faircuppa wrote:
The main point is that Highcrest staff, management parents and governors have done a fantastic job in turning around the old Hatters Lane. They have lifted up educational opportunity and the whole culture of East Wycombe over the last 10 years.
What matters to me is the type of feedback I hear about Highcrest. Grandparents who are thrilled at their grandchildren's success. Parents whose children were underperforming at primary schools. There are thousands of people out there whose lives have been positively affected by Sheana Monihan and the whole school efforts.
It's a nasty minority who are trying to discredit that,
Hear Hear, couldn't have put it better myself.
[quote][p][bold]faircuppa[/bold] wrote: The main point is that Highcrest staff, management parents and governors have done a fantastic job in turning around the old Hatters Lane. They have lifted up educational opportunity and the whole culture of East Wycombe over the last 10 years. What matters to me is the type of feedback I hear about Highcrest. Grandparents who are thrilled at their grandchildren's success. Parents whose children were underperforming at primary schools. There are thousands of people out there whose lives have been positively affected by Sheana Monihan and the whole school efforts. It's a nasty minority who are trying to discredit that,[/p][/quote]Hear Hear, couldn't have put it better myself. yog
  • Score: 0

6:55pm Sun 18 Nov 12

faircuppa says...

Good to hear a voice of commonsense in this matter at last.
I hear Welwyn Dowd is a failed ex Labour politician, perhaps he is too left wing for Blue Labour locally? Sky blue pink is possibly his colour!
Good to hear a voice of commonsense in this matter at last. I hear Welwyn Dowd is a failed ex Labour politician, perhaps he is too left wing for Blue Labour locally? Sky blue pink is possibly his colour! faircuppa
  • Score: 0

6:59pm Sun 18 Nov 12

faircuppa says...

BOOKERite wrote:
What a very sorry situation, I am not sure who is trying to bully who. But I would say to those striking teachers you are setting our children a dreadful example.
I agree, the question we should be asking is are the unions paying their members to strike? How will they explain this to children and parents who want the education to go ahead. That 4 staff lost half a days pay for not turning up for an appraisal - Bizarre set of priorities.
[quote][p][bold]BOOKERite[/bold] wrote: What a very sorry situation, I am not sure who is trying to bully who. But I would say to those striking teachers you are setting our children a dreadful example.[/p][/quote]I agree, the question we should be asking is are the unions paying their members to strike? How will they explain this to children and parents who want the education to go ahead. That 4 staff lost half a days pay for not turning up for an appraisal - Bizarre set of priorities. faircuppa
  • Score: 0

7:10pm Sun 18 Nov 12

Welwyn Dowd says...

The main point is the Highcrest staff are getting dumped on by an autocratic head and naive governing body. Its reached a ceiling in its achievement that can only be raised by culling out what it sees as the lowest potential achievers - those who will not pass its entrance tests, a lot of whom do not have English as a first language and do not possess articulate parents who can steer their way through the obstacles put in their way by the system now being imposed. Yes, Highcrest has achieved a lot in the last ten years. The previous government put up the cash to enable it to turn round from the dire state it had allowed to get into by the county council. Not enough for the head for the school to get to its present state, more is demanded. Out must go the bottom 25% of achievers, out must go staff who don't agree, out must go some governors who won't keep quiet. An anonymous, unaccountable governing body is required. No-one must name them.

Councillors who spend our taxes have names. Most of them have the nerve to stand for a particular political party. For a school that spends several million pounds a year of our money, on our children, isn't it right that those responsible are accountable and not skulking around refusing to be identified? We can vote councillors out, we can go and sit in their public meetings and hear what they have to say, we can see the financial accounts if we really want to. The Freedom of Information Act is a wonderful thing. It obliges all publicly funded organisations to reply to enquiries about their activities. It specifically covers Academies. Ask and you will receive. If you don't they will be fined.
The main point is the Highcrest staff are getting dumped on by an autocratic head and naive governing body. Its reached a ceiling in its achievement that can only be raised by culling out what it sees as the lowest potential achievers - those who will not pass its entrance tests, a lot of whom do not have English as a first language and do not possess articulate parents who can steer their way through the obstacles put in their way by the system now being imposed. Yes, Highcrest has achieved a lot in the last ten years. The previous government put up the cash to enable it to turn round from the dire state it had allowed to get into by the county council. Not enough for the head for the school to get to its present state, more is demanded. Out must go the bottom 25% of achievers, out must go staff who don't agree, out must go some governors who won't keep quiet. An anonymous, unaccountable governing body is required. No-one must name them. Councillors who spend our taxes have names. Most of them have the nerve to stand for a particular political party. For a school that spends several million pounds a year of our money, on our children, isn't it right that those responsible are accountable and not skulking around refusing to be identified? We can vote councillors out, we can go and sit in their public meetings and hear what they have to say, we can see the financial accounts if we really want to. The Freedom of Information Act is a wonderful thing. It obliges all publicly funded organisations to reply to enquiries about their activities. It specifically covers Academies. Ask and you will receive. If you don't they will be fined. Welwyn Dowd
  • Score: 0

7:53pm Sun 18 Nov 12

matstuff says...

faircuppa seems to be oblivious to some fairly clear inconstancies in his/her arguments. 'Highcrest' is obviously a mix of teachers; it's unclear how supporting those teachers who are striking is bullying the school. One might just as well say that they are supporting the school through supporting its teachers.

Also, since you seem so aware of BecksH's situation, it seems only appropriate for you to declare your own interests.
faircuppa seems to be oblivious to some fairly clear inconstancies in his/her arguments. 'Highcrest' is obviously a mix of teachers; it's unclear how supporting those teachers who are striking is bullying the school. One might just as well say that they are supporting the school through supporting its teachers. Also, since you seem so aware of BecksH's situation, it seems only appropriate for you to declare your own interests. matstuff
  • Score: 0

7:53pm Sun 18 Nov 12

faircuppa says...

Welwyn Dowd wrote:
The main point is the Highcrest staff are getting dumped on by an autocratic head and naive governing body. Its reached a ceiling in its achievement that can only be raised by culling out what it sees as the lowest potential achievers - those who will not pass its entrance tests, a lot of whom do not have English as a first language and do not possess articulate parents who can steer their way through the obstacles put in their way by the system now being imposed. Yes, Highcrest has achieved a lot in the last ten years. The previous government put up the cash to enable it to turn round from the dire state it had allowed to get into by the county council. Not enough for the head for the school to get to its present state, more is demanded. Out must go the bottom 25% of achievers, out must go staff who don't agree, out must go some governors who won't keep quiet. An anonymous, unaccountable governing body is required. No-one must name them.

Councillors who spend our taxes have names. Most of them have the nerve to stand for a particular political party. For a school that spends several million pounds a year of our money, on our children, isn't it right that those responsible are accountable and not skulking around refusing to be identified? We can vote councillors out, we can go and sit in their public meetings and hear what they have to say, we can see the financial accounts if we really want to. The Freedom of Information Act is a wonderful thing. It obliges all publicly funded organisations to reply to enquiries about their activities. It specifically covers Academies. Ask and you will receive. If you don't they will be fined.
This is thoroughly illogical, Highcrest has acheived a huge amount, but now Welwyn Dowd has decreed that it can go no further - such arrogance. He knows absolutely nothing about Highcrest just third hand whispering from his Labour cronies who allowed the school into the pits in the first place.
Of course, Labour love selection because they can blame everything on that all the time.
Quite unlike Shenah Monyihan who has high aspirations and is a national innovator who believes in raising standards and has suceeded and will continue to suceed. The anonymous governing body can be looked up on the website. Councillors can go on governing bodies, there is no barrier. When challenged Mr Dowd gets menacing, just what we don't need anywhere education. Highcrest has nothing to hide, I am sure and as you rightly say 10 years of success behind it and more to come.
[quote][p][bold]Welwyn Dowd[/bold] wrote: The main point is the Highcrest staff are getting dumped on by an autocratic head and naive governing body. Its reached a ceiling in its achievement that can only be raised by culling out what it sees as the lowest potential achievers - those who will not pass its entrance tests, a lot of whom do not have English as a first language and do not possess articulate parents who can steer their way through the obstacles put in their way by the system now being imposed. Yes, Highcrest has achieved a lot in the last ten years. The previous government put up the cash to enable it to turn round from the dire state it had allowed to get into by the county council. Not enough for the head for the school to get to its present state, more is demanded. Out must go the bottom 25% of achievers, out must go staff who don't agree, out must go some governors who won't keep quiet. An anonymous, unaccountable governing body is required. No-one must name them. Councillors who spend our taxes have names. Most of them have the nerve to stand for a particular political party. For a school that spends several million pounds a year of our money, on our children, isn't it right that those responsible are accountable and not skulking around refusing to be identified? We can vote councillors out, we can go and sit in their public meetings and hear what they have to say, we can see the financial accounts if we really want to. The Freedom of Information Act is a wonderful thing. It obliges all publicly funded organisations to reply to enquiries about their activities. It specifically covers Academies. Ask and you will receive. If you don't they will be fined.[/p][/quote]This is thoroughly illogical, Highcrest has acheived a huge amount, but now Welwyn Dowd has decreed that it can go no further - such arrogance. He knows absolutely nothing about Highcrest just third hand whispering from his Labour cronies who allowed the school into the pits in the first place. Of course, Labour love selection because they can blame everything on that all the time. Quite unlike Shenah Monyihan who has high aspirations and is a national innovator who believes in raising standards and has suceeded and will continue to suceed. The anonymous governing body can be looked up on the website. Councillors can go on governing bodies, there is no barrier. When challenged Mr Dowd gets menacing, just what we don't need anywhere education. Highcrest has nothing to hide, I am sure and as you rightly say 10 years of success behind it and more to come. faircuppa
  • Score: 0

8:08pm Sun 18 Nov 12

faircuppa says...

matstuff wrote:
faircuppa seems to be oblivious to some fairly clear inconstancies in his/her arguments. 'Highcrest' is obviously a mix of teachers; it's unclear how supporting those teachers who are striking is bullying the school. One might just as well say that they are supporting the school through supporting its teachers.

Also, since you seem so aware of BecksH's situation, it seems only appropriate for you to declare your own interests.
Are you not aware that two teaching unions are targetting a handful of Academies up and down the country for strike action? See the Socialist Workers Party website.These is yet another chapter in the Let's Get Highcrest orchestrated saga.
The important point is to support parents and students who want education to go ahead. Why should they lose out because unions want to flex their muscles and pay teachers to go on strike. Should they not also pay parents and students for the loss of each days education. Or do we not really care about, afterall, about disadvantaged children living in a deprived area. Only when it suits us, I suppose. BecksH can speak for herself, she does not need a minder or didn't the last time I spoke to her!!
[quote][p][bold]matstuff[/bold] wrote: faircuppa seems to be oblivious to some fairly clear inconstancies in his/her arguments. 'Highcrest' is obviously a mix of teachers; it's unclear how supporting those teachers who are striking is bullying the school. One might just as well say that they are supporting the school through supporting its teachers. Also, since you seem so aware of BecksH's situation, it seems only appropriate for you to declare your own interests.[/p][/quote]Are you not aware that two teaching unions are targetting a handful of Academies up and down the country for strike action? See the Socialist Workers Party website.These is yet another chapter in the Let's Get Highcrest orchestrated saga. The important point is to support parents and students who want education to go ahead. Why should they lose out because unions want to flex their muscles and pay teachers to go on strike. Should they not also pay parents and students for the loss of each days education. Or do we not really care about, afterall, about disadvantaged children living in a deprived area. Only when it suits us, I suppose. BecksH can speak for herself, she does not need a minder or didn't the last time I spoke to her!! faircuppa
  • Score: 0

8:53pm Sun 18 Nov 12

yog says...

So Labour are now proposing to flood the school with FOI requests?

Yes lets tie up the school in red tape and bring it to its knees.

Nasty politics.
So Labour are now proposing to flood the school with FOI requests? Yes lets tie up the school in red tape and bring it to its knees. Nasty politics. yog
  • Score: 0

9:28pm Sun 18 Nov 12

matstuff says...

faircuppa

You'll need to explain how excluding the 25% least well equipped to pass exams is helping the most disadvantaged students.

I wasn't asking BecksH to speak for herself, I was asking you to speak for yourself: what are your conflicts of interest here?
faircuppa You'll need to explain how excluding the 25% least well equipped to pass exams is helping the most disadvantaged students. I wasn't asking BecksH to speak for herself, I was asking you to speak for yourself: what are your conflicts of interest here? matstuff
  • Score: 0

9:50pm Sun 18 Nov 12

Micklefield Matt says...

It seems that this has been blown out of all proportion. Four teachers, a very small proportion of the staff at Highcrest, have decided to take industrial action and don't like the consequences of this. This is part of a national campaign by the unions who don't agree with the current guidance on appraisal of teaching staff.

Yet this small event brings all Highcrest's harshest critics out of the woodwork again. Clearly they have had nothing better to do in recent weeks and have been prowling round, ready to attack at the merest whiff of Highcrest's blood!

Many of these critics are members of Wycombe Labour Party who are so blinkered in their opposition of academies they would rather viciously attack and undermine Highcrest at every opportunity than celebrate all the good it has done to improve the prospects of our children.

It is a tragic shame that people can be so blinded by their dogma they fail to see the good in front of their eyes.

All the arguments, many repeated ad nauseum above, have been debunked by the schools adjudicator and proven to be entirely based on lies and misinformation. For example the test Highcrest uses is a non-verbal reading test specifically so it will NOT disadvantage those who speak English as a second language.

As a local councillor I support all my local schools, not without question and not without criticism, but always in a spirit of partnership and wanting the best for local children.

It is a shame that the district councillors for Totteridge aren't able to extend the same kind of support to all their local schools.
It seems that this has been blown out of all proportion. Four teachers, a very small proportion of the staff at Highcrest, have decided to take industrial action and don't like the consequences of this. This is part of a national campaign by the unions who don't agree with the current guidance on appraisal of teaching staff. Yet this small event brings all Highcrest's harshest critics out of the woodwork again. Clearly they have had nothing better to do in recent weeks and have been prowling round, ready to attack at the merest whiff of Highcrest's blood! Many of these critics are members of Wycombe Labour Party who are so blinkered in their opposition of academies they would rather viciously attack and undermine Highcrest at every opportunity than celebrate all the good it has done to improve the prospects of our children. It is a tragic shame that people can be so blinded by their dogma they fail to see the good in front of their eyes. All the arguments, many repeated ad nauseum above, have been debunked by the schools adjudicator and proven to be entirely based on lies and misinformation. For example the test Highcrest uses is a non-verbal reading test specifically so it will NOT disadvantage those who speak English as a second language. As a local councillor I support all my local schools, not without question and not without criticism, but always in a spirit of partnership and wanting the best for local children. It is a shame that the district councillors for Totteridge aren't able to extend the same kind of support to all their local schools. Micklefield Matt
  • Score: 0

9:55pm Sun 18 Nov 12

Micklefield Matt says...

matstuff wrote:
faircuppa

You'll need to explain how excluding the 25% least well equipped to pass exams is helping the most disadvantaged students.

I wasn't asking BecksH to speak for herself, I was asking you to speak for yourself: what are your conflicts of interest here?
Perhaps first you need to explain where you get the idea that the Highcrest admissions policy excludes the 25% least well equipped to pass exams!
[quote][p][bold]matstuff[/bold] wrote: faircuppa You'll need to explain how excluding the 25% least well equipped to pass exams is helping the most disadvantaged students. I wasn't asking BecksH to speak for herself, I was asking you to speak for yourself: what are your conflicts of interest here?[/p][/quote]Perhaps first you need to explain where you get the idea that the Highcrest admissions policy excludes the 25% least well equipped to pass exams! Micklefield Matt
  • Score: 0

10:16pm Sun 18 Nov 12

faircuppa says...

Quite right, to my mind it is streaming as in comprehensive schools. This makes Highcrest a first in Bucks and has acheived what Comprehensive Futures has failed to do.
Those who do not like selection in Bucks can petition for change, if they wrongly believe that Highcrest has gone selective then parents can abolish selection through the procedures the Labour Government introduced. As usual Blue Labour will be found to be incapable of motivating any parents to abolish selection. Thus they have to organise a petty campaign.
Quite right, to my mind it is streaming as in comprehensive schools. This makes Highcrest a first in Bucks and has acheived what Comprehensive Futures has failed to do. Those who do not like selection in Bucks can petition for change, if they wrongly believe that Highcrest has gone selective then parents can abolish selection through the procedures the Labour Government introduced. As usual Blue Labour will be found to be incapable of motivating any parents to abolish selection. Thus they have to organise a petty campaign. faircuppa
  • Score: 0

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