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Headteacher’s Blog 03/02/23

By 3rd February 2023Headteacher's Blog

For Year 9 this term our attention has been focused on the Year 9 options process.  I was delighted to see so many parents at our options evening last week. It provided me with a good  opportunity to meet with students and their families to discuss the choices that they are making as they seek to personalise their curriculum for Years 10 and 11.   Due to the pandemic restrictions and on-line parents evenings, for many parents in Year 9 this was the first occasion they have been in school since they chose Oaklands when there child was in Year 6. Using the on-line medium has many benefits, however I am also of the view that we have lost something in terms of our wider community engaging in school.

Parents’ consultation evenings present a chance for teachers to see where their students are coming from and it is a direct opportunity to discuss and iron out any issues arising with the learning. For parents, it is a chance to actually meet the people who have the daily responsibility for their children. There is so much more nuance in a face-to-face conversation and less room for misunderstanding than in a quick web chat.

Teaching isn’t just about relationships with youngster, it’s about winning the hearts and minds of parents and carers. With them on board, there is increased goodwill and a greater chance to make a difference in the lives of the children we all care about. We are looking at moving back to face-to-face parents’ consultation evenings.

Finally, I very much hope the negotiations between the government and the NEU will avert the strike days planned for March. Related to the action, there has been much published in the media about school funding.  I think it worth commenting on some of the misinformation out there, particularly around school funding. It is true that schools will receive an additional £2bn, the Dfe acknowledged that the average secondary will receive £170,000 and according to their press release on the 6th December, this would shield schools from increased energy costs. This money is very much welcomed. However, a school the size of Oaklands is facing an increase in energy costs of approximately twice this. The Secretary of states for Education made a statement on the 1st February, on Day time television, that this money was to find pay rises. It is difficult to see how the money can be spent twice, unless you know something I don’t.

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