So, the news broke last week around an interim head teacher and deputy coming into Harrop Fold School from the start of September. Where did the news break? Was it a meeting with all parents at the school to inform them that this was occurring? Was it a letter out to each and every parent informing them of such an important change regarding their child’s schooling? Was it a phone call to each and every parent notifying them of a fundamental decision that could potentially have significant impact on pupils?
No, it was none of the above. OK, perhaps a phone call to every parent is a bit far fetched, I will give you that. However, the fact that we heard through the local newspaper, I feel, is absolutely appalling and utterly disrespectful to all concerned. The fact that there is a quote in there from, none other than @_Lisa_Stone whom has said very little on Twitter, refuses to engage with parents and yet, when any representative of the aggrieved parents, regarding this farce of a situation have emailed Lisa, they get an “out of office on annual leave” message. Strange – are you on leave or are you making quotes to @NealkeelingMEN around what is or rather IS NOT happening at @HarropFold school in Little Hulton and in reference to the @drewpovey situation?
It was GCSE results announcement day on Thursday this week in England, it is a time where all pupils and teachers gather with one another up and down the country to understand and learn what has been achieved in the most previous academic year. It is an opportunity for pupils to thank their Teachers, Support Workers, Heads and Leaders for their belief and drive to get them to where they have arrived at that very point on that very day in their lives. It is also, let’s not forget, a time when some pupils who have perhaps not achieved what they wanted to, even though they have quite possibly tried their damned hardest, can look to those same supporters for their shoulder to cry on, perhaps for their words of wisdom, at a time when they need it most, probably more so than any term week or term period during the past 5 years.
It was a time to reflect on the good, the bad and the indifferent throughout their school life.
What happened on that day at Harrop Fold? I don’t know, I wasn’t there. Were the pupils, the teachers, the support workers there? Yes, I am sure they would have been. Of course they would, it was one of the biggest days in everybody’s lives that day. Was Mr Povey, Executive Head Teacher of Harrop Fold there? I honestly do not know! But I can hazard a guess. I can make an educated guess, given the way that the current situation has been handled by Salford Council recently that he wasn’t. Why would he be there? Why would the Council want him there to rejoice in the great achievements or to perhaps be on hand to emotionally support pupils in their “not so great” moments? Why would they want, (why should they want) the pupils of Little Hulton and Walkden to have continuity of support when things are not going right for a young impressionable individual, whose hopes may have been dashed in the seconds it takes to open an envelope? That would make sense wouldn’t it? That would mean that children are being comforted by their long term support group would it not?. That would mean that the Council would be doing their job right wouldn’t it? Not this council, they have made decisions and are taking a very firm path that breaks the rules around continued engagement, that trashes the very idea of having a network of support. They have made choices that has potentially undone all the great work that was started in 2010 by one man, one leader.
Today is Saturday 25th August 2018. I decided to take myself off to my local Costa Coffee shop in Walkden as I quite often do on a Saturday morning. It gives me a little reflection time, it allows me to gather thoughts, do some people watching, sip on my favourite Medium Semi-Skimmed Latte. Today I arrived there via Tesco having bought the Manchester Evening News just to catch up on the happenings in the area. I wasn’t really that surprised if I am honest to find that Neal Keeling had wrote a piece in there around the news that the Interim Head and Depute Head had been appointed to the school. What I am however surprised about is the abundance of contempt by @SalfordCouncil for the pupils, the parents, the staff and quite possibly the Governors of the school. It is a level of contempt that I believe knows no boundaries and that is a very sad indictment of this institution and the situation it has put itself in.
I am not bitter, please don’t think I am. Although you would be forgiven for thinking so as this post and quite possibly all of my blog posts and Tweets around Harrop at present are full of emotion. No, I am not bitter. I am disappointed. I am disappointed at the very thought that an education authority who are meant to support schooling, are meant to provide structure and support for kids is by its own doing, by its own efforts are breaking a school. They are destroying and ripping the heart out what makes Harrop great, what puts Little Hulton. A run down, deprived area of Salford City firmly on the map. I have said it in a few tweets and I will continue to say it, you can’t bask in the glory when it suits you and then run for the hills when there is a challenge to be had. Let’s suppose that there was some activity had around “off rolling”, lets assume that a pupil, or a couple of pupils have been taken off register. I honestly do not know this to be the case. But, what I do know, is that it has been done elsewhere, at has happened at other schools. At schools inside and outside of Salford Council. There is enough free information out there to support this. My question for Salford Council would be; How has it been handled before? how have Teachers and Head Teachers been treated in previous instances? Have they been “told off”, put in detention? Have they had warnings formal or otherwise? Have they been reprimanded in such a way that allows them to continue the great work they have committed to? Or have they been suspended? Have they been publicly ridiculed in a similar way to this? I am sure there is more to this than meets the eye – The punishment simply does not fit the crime, if indeed there is a crime!!!
I am not alone in those thoughts. I and a number of other fellow protestors have had private message stating their declaration of disbelief at what has occurred. One question, I keep reminding myself of is; WHY? Why would a man who has given so much, both in time AND in money back to the school he heads up want to cheat, why would he want to “off-roll” pupils? He doesn’t need to! That is the irony of all of this. He doesn’t bloody need to! He has demonstrated what he is capable of. He has many, many followers who believe in him and in his values. Clear indication of that is the below tweet that just happened to be posted this morning whilst I was sat having my coffee …
Other posts on Twitter are …
And again …
And once again …
The above comments are coming from people, ordinary people who have been touched by Drew’s efforts, perhaps who have been on the receiving end, either directly (pupils) or indirectly (parents/carers), there are even organisations that have been very vocal in support of Drew and everything he stands for. Why? Because they get him. They share, live, eat and breathe his Values and Beliefs and above all they SUPPORT him.
If you also #BelieveInDrew and want to have your voice heard, whether that be open and up front or indeed anonymously then please feel free to drop me an email at email@example.com and I will be only too happy to engage with you. I would be delighted to be able to put your point across in my blog and provide you with a platform with which to reach out. Give you opportunity to have your voice.
I am going to close off with a question that is perhaps on your lips – “What’s in it for you Paul?”
The answer to that is very simple; I just want my Daughter to be going to the school we chose to put her in to on the basis of what it has achieved under the stewardship of a great and inspiring leader. I want continuity throughout her schooling. It is THE most import time of her life right now. I don’t want the school at risk of going back to where it once was. I don’t want Police patrolling the corridors keeping kids in check, I don’t want bullying and exclusion to be rife. I want her and all other Harrop kids to have a fair crack of the whip in their final 5 years of education before heading to college, university or the workplace.
Is there a risk it will go back to being the WORST, which it once was and not the GOOD that it is today? Yes! Of course there is. History is repeating itself once again. Harrop has two incoming “Interim” staff to direct it. Kids know only one way to lash out when they have disruption and THAT is the risk. I am hoping and praying that the great leadership influence that has been provided since 2010 will encourage pupils to stay on the straight and narrow, knuckle down and continue with the good work and not allow themselves to regress to bad behaviour. But it is an unknown certainty following the past events alongside the poor handling of the situation since July 13th. There are vulnerable kids, kids whose parents have contacted me stating that their children are disrupted, they have recommenced self harming because their Head is no longer there and they do not know what the future holds come September. Don’t believe me? Read the tweets, they are there for all to see. They are there for Salford Council to see.
One thing I promise is, that I will continue to dig and delve to see what gets uncovered. Others are doing similar, I am sure the real issue will unfold sometime soon. I believe there is more to this than meets the eye. And for that reason, and in tune with my own Values and Beliefs I will continue. Continue to SUPPORT.
Finally, I will leave you with a few more tweets showing what impact Salford Council’s handling of this is having. Salford Council, remember one thing; IGNORANCE IS NO DEFENCE!