I met yesterday with the Head of my son's school, and went quite well. This was in response to an email I sent him last week that informed him of the existence of this blog, and that it was not intended to be a tool to cause conflict with him or the school.
As stated previously in this blog, I would want to work with schools and head teachers in order to campaign for the changes we want, and not against them.
He was friendly and complimented the blog and its content, and said that he does not intend to hinder my campaign, but his hands were tied as to how involved someone in his position could get. He said he needs to stay apolitical in these matters.
We discussed the changes I am campaigning for and he insists that he only wants what is best for the children, and that alternatives ARE available for children who cannot sit GCSE exams, although he conceded that there is no incentive for schools to pursue them due to scoring but stated that this is not what happens at his school, it is what is best for the child.
He asked if I has been in touch with any local authority members, and I told him I had and that many agree with what I was saying to them (although I wonder what changes they can influence?......time will tell).
We then spoke about the profile of the Integrated Resource at the school, and his commitment to it. I told him that the website has NO mention of the IR....anywhere, and there is no link to the IR website, which is years out of date. The newsletter that was released for Autumn/Winter 2016 has no mention of the IR also....nothing.
The IR website is badly in need of attention and this takes resources to do so, something that the IR can ill afford, regarding staff, funding and time. The IR was once called 'The Jewel in the Crown' of this school by the Head at that time, but it's profile is slowly diminishing, to the point at where one day, we may say, "do you remember that IR we used to have?.....wonder what happened to it?"....once it's gone, it's gone.
Now, the Head never once suggested that IR is under threat, he actually gave a commitment to it, and said he is currently looking at the school's website as we speak, so I am hopeful that the IR is more at the forefront of the new website, and I am hopeful that the IR's website has some money put into it.
Unfortunately, my cynical side says that the rounds of cuts from Government that are hitting every public sector over and over again may be out of the Head's control and that the IR will not be up there when it comes to priorities....which then means that any alternatives, additional help or initiatives will fall by the wayside too.
The Head said all the right things, and was (with respect) what I expected. He said what I thought he would say and nothing contentious, but then why would he feed my suspicions? it would only serve to fuel my campaign and make life harder for him if I thought he was against it. But he appears to be a reasonable man with the best intentions, who thinks that talking is the best way to progress, so I am positive about dealing with him in future, I just worry about outside influences...
I did suggest a survey from school to be sent to the parents of the IR, to gauge feeling and to give him the tools to be able to improve the IR whilst taking the parents with him...he did not dismiss the idea, but said it will not happen soon. Maybe you could email him...or your Head, with your thought s anyway???