Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Go to the meeting and speak up!

As I understand it, there is a parents' meeting on Friday at St. Augustine's, to discuss the ISI report.

If you are dissatisfied with the school's response to the ISI report, then I recommend that you go to the meeting and be prepared to speak and to ask difficult questions. Don't rely on others to do it for you.

As parents, you can chat amongst yourselves here or on the phone to each other as much as you wish, and nothing will change. Maybe you are OK with that. If you are OK that, then your daughters will go to the school you deserve. Unfortunately that might not be what they deserve, and you may find yourselves having to explain your inaction to your daughters in later years.

If you want things at the school to change, then you have to make your concerns known to those who have the power to do something about it. So you have to go to the meeting, and speak to Mrs Gumley Mason, and make your concerns known to her, and also to any governors and trustees who may also be present.

This is your daughters' safety we are talking about. The school's failings are in the field of child protection. If your child is harmed as a result of child protection failings, it will probably affect her much more than if she merely doesn't get a clean sweep of A* grades at A level.

I've spoken with adult survivors of abuse, and with members of their families. Believe me, you really don't want to risk this happening to your children. It wrecks lives and breaks up families.

You'll never get a better chance to make changes than now. If all of you who are concerned turn up, and don't rely on each other to take the lead, then you might achieve a lot at the meeting.

I can't guarantee that you will achieve what you want. But I can guarantee one thing. If you don't turn up, or if you turn up and are just silent, then you won't achieve anything.

Over to you.


  1. Hi
    I was just wondering how you would feel if you found a blog full of hateful posts about you?
    To all the people that comment on here saying Mrs Gumley Mason is a 'bully,' then maybe you should look at what you are writing: you are also bullies.
    Just try and put yourselves in another person's shoes.

  2. I think I would say that if she is a bully, then it is about time people stood up to her.

    And if she doesn't like it, the phase "can dish it out but can't take it" springs to mind.

  3. By the way 00.24, you seem unable to distinguish between criticism of a person's actions and hate for that person.

    If a person's actions are worthy of criticism, then it is not "hateful" to criticise, even if the criticism might not be welcome.

    Bullies are often very good at deflecting criticism by playing the victim card as soon it looks like people might be successfully standing up to them.

    "Why are you all ganging up on me?" is code for "It's not fair, I can't bully you one at a time any more", and "You are being hateful" is code for "I don't know how to answer this criticism."

    I've dealt with many bullies in my time. I know the tricks, and I'm not taken in by them.

    So let's just concentrate on the facts - i.e. on what the ISI Report says, and what the school has done and is going to do about it.

    Quite frankly, I have no opinion of Mrs Gumley Mason as a person. I don't know her, I have never met her. I am interested solely in whether she is fulfilling her safeguarding duties as Headmistress and Designated Teacher for Child Protection at the school.

    The evidence at present is that she is not. If new evidence comes to light, I am prepared to change my opinion. Let's go by the evidence.

  4. .
    Ignore the message - just shoot the messenger.

    The default of the defensive.

  5. We've now had the meeting of staff and mrs gumley mason. I think the staff is split maybe a third is strongly for her and one third against her and newer staff seem to be in the middle. The headmistress tells us she cant remember how much the court case cost the school, or how early on she received the report from ISI. Perhaps she can remember tomorrow. I worry that many of the good teachers will ask if in the long run they should stay in a school run by someone who thinks they are stupid. In the longer term what sort of teachers will stay ? What sort of children will stay ?

  6. Can anyone tell us exactly what happened?

  7. Well I think we know the identity of 4.47 now...'heads man'......

  8. I was meant to go for the meeting but due to unavoidable circumstances this was not possible. Could anyone please shed some light into how the meeting went?

  9. Please, Mr West (6:22): fishing for information?