It was with interest that I read the letters in last week’s Free Press concerning the move to academy status in local schools and the lack of real and meaningful information given to parents.
As a headteacher of a local independent school, I have recently received many queries from parents who are alarmed by the thought of huge, merged schools where finance and political considerations seem to dominate decision making.
Parents are not naive in failing to see the importance of such matters, but they are becomingly increasingly aware that any concern about what is best for pupils seems to be well and truly on the back burner.
Parents tell me that they want genuine freedom for schools to make their own decisions based on a philosophy that puts the child at the heart of education.
It is almost impossible for a school to promote its ethos and to live up to it when the headteacher is for all intents and purposes a business person.
I became a teacher because I had a passion for education and for providing the best possible teaching for young people.
That simple aim seems to be becoming increasingly lost in the current educational climate as the tail is certainly wagging the dog!
Business seems to dominate and pupils are the last to be considered; a betrayal of youth in a climate when it has never been more important for pupils to be life long learners.
In my school, pupils are educated in small classes by well motivated, happy teachers.
The atmosphere is characterised by mutual respect and a ‘whole child’ approach is adopted at all time inextricably linking the pastoral and the academic.
This enables all pupils to succeed whatever their ability. We are free to make our own decisions and do not have to jump through hoops for the sake of doing so.
Yes, we are inspected and have the same safeguarding controls as the state sector, but we can cherry pick best practice for our pupils. This is what parents want for their children; it is simple and it makes sense.
Kirkstone House School