I READ with interest the four letters published about the recent Ofsted report at William Parker Sports College (Observer, January 25).
I write as the parent of a Year 10 pupil and am sorry to say that I recognise many of Ofsted’s damning comments as being entirely fair and accurate.
My son left Year 6 with a strong set of SATS results and a seemingly bright future ahead of him, but he has been anything other than stretched in his time at William Parker and the fact that he is not a particularly gifted sportsman has sadly contributed to a rather low profile and, hence, an apparent lack of recognition for his academic achievements to date.
It would of course be completely unfair to suggest that the entire teaching staff is of insufficient quality, but I am not sure that the same is true of the leadership team, who have, in my opinion, rightly borne the brunt of Ofsted’s criticism. Indeed, the headmaster’s reaction has been lamentable, to say the least.
Even before the report was first published, a letter was sent to parents bemoaning the newer, more severe criteria under which the inspection took place, and crowing about the college being the 58th most improved school in the country. Hardly an overwhelming boast.
A hastily arranged meeting, held at the college on the snowbound Monday, January 21, evidently gave some details of what would happen in the aftermath of the report, but a communication to those parents unable to attend the meeting has only just been provided and was sorely lacking in content.
The nadir was truly attained during a series of assemblies on Friday, January 25, when the headmaster lambasted the pupils, accusing them of letting the college down and of being somehow responsible for its inadequate rating.
So, the boys are failing the college, as opposed to being failed themselves? His tirade at an end, he went on to proudly advise that there was additional investment planned in sporting facilities going forward.
If he feels this to be a priority, as opposed to a heightened focus on vital core subjects such as English and mathematics, it only adds to the sense that he is somewhat delusional and unfit for the important office that he holds.
Rather than lashing out in various directions and trying to hide behind the political agenda, perceived successes in years gone by, or those in subjects with less mainstream appeal, I would challenge the headmaster to actually attend to the points raised in the report and to be clear with parents about how he intends to improve matters. Otherwise, perhaps he could do the decent thing and make way for someone better suited to the task at hand.