Monthly Archives: July 2013

Brighton Aldridge Community Academy names its new headteacher

Dylan Davies will take over next year after Phil Hogg announced her intention to retire last autumn.

Mr Davies, who’s currently senior vice principal at City of London Academy in Southwark, will take in the location in January 2014.

Michael Brett, who was appointed interim headteacher in May, will continue in that role until Mr Davies joins the academy, supported by Mrs Hogg until she retires on the end of this term.

Sir Rod Aldridge, chairman of BACA sponsors the Aldridge Foundation, said: “Under Mrs Hogg’s leadership the academy has had a couple of successes, most notably an 86% improvement in students achieving 5 A* – C grade GCSEs including English and maths since opening.

“She has done an excellent job and the scholars and community deserve a very good candidate to succeed her – in Dylan Davies i feel now we have found just that.”

Mr Davies, who has 20 years’ teaching experience, joined City of London Academy nine years ago as head of science.

As Senior Vice Principal he has overseen year on year improvements on the school culminating in an 18% point rise in 5A*-C GCSEs including English and Maths to 61% in a single year.

He said: “I am greatly expecting joining the BACA community.

“I thoroughly enjoyed meeting students, staff and governors on the Academy duringmy interview process and notice such a lot of opportunities for continuing and celebrating the excellent success story it’s BACA.


Students at Brighton school forced to wear blazers during heatwave

Pupils were forced to wear blazers despite the searing heat that has swept the county for weeks.

Students at Varndean School, Brighton, were still expected to wear full school uniform including ties and blazers despite the south east being issued a degree 3 heat wave warning and temperatures peaking at 30C.

At the last day of the college year, Varndean students had a unique graduation ceremony where they were expected to wear full school uniform, including ties and blazers.

However William Deighan, head teacher, said: “In the top, we needed to abandon our full uniform due to the heat. The events were a good success and scholars were very happy with their achievements.”

School uniform policy at Varndean states students are expected to wear a tie, blazer, white shirt and long trousers “at all times in the course of the school day”.

Parents have spoken in outrage on the decision in recent weeks to enforce the faculty uniform policy and make students wear their blazers even during lessons.

Nikki Weighell, 38, of Brighton, claims her daughter was refused entry to the college canteen to get something to eat and drink because she was wearing grey shoes rather than black because the school policy requires.

She said: “The students are made to wear full shirts, ties and blazers or risk being excluded.

“When my daughter was also refused entry to the faculty canteen I said to the trainer that’s a breach of human rights.

“They usually are not allowed to take off their blazers even in the course of the hot weather and they’re not allowed to refill their water bottles during class when it’s boiling within the classrooms.

“Do the lecturers are all wear shirts, ties and blazers while they teach? I’m sure they don’t.

“It is difficult enough for them to pay attention at school because it is without air con, not to mention wearing their blazers in addition.”

Last week, a 14-year-old boy was turned clear of the faculty for wearing shorts at the hottest day of the year.

His mother said: “I think the college has completely lost the plot.

“My son hasn’t done anything wrong.

“It’s not fair to force the scholars to wear warm clothes when it’s this hot.

“The teachers are being completely ridiculous.”


Facebook ‘must police itself’, says Longhill School head

A headteacher has hit out at Facebook, calling it the “new toilet wall” after pupils across Brighton and Hove joined a page devoted to spreading vicious gossip.

Haydn Stride, head of Longhill Highschool in Rottingdean, has contacted all his school’s parents after he discovered students as young as 13 had signed as much as a page which targeting spreading malicious and unfounded gossip about other youngsters.

He said: “Facebook is the recent toilet wall. Beforehand children may need written gossip there – now they do it on Facebook.

“The toilet walls in our faculty are clean, but sadly Facebook is just not.”

Mr Stride said: “Facebook has to have better controls to forestall pages which encourage and make allowance bullying.

“Children get very hurt by things that are said and this needs to be stopped – Facebook can police itself better, it just doesn’t.”

Brighton and Hove City Council contacted all secondary schools within the city after Mr Stride, the raised concerns in regards to the page, believed to be called Brighton Bump.

He contacted Facebook administrators concerning the page, who subsequently took it down.

Mr Stride also recalled how some pupils had their accounts hacked by other youngsters.

Parents of pupils at Longhill were sent a letter which said: “It have been attracted to our attention that some teens were using a Facebook account inappropriately. We have got asked Facebook to take away this site.”

Other schools supported Mr Stride’s demand Facebook to raised police itself.

Diane Bonner, business manager of Patcham Highschool, said: “Like all schools we need to take care of the fallout of scholars misusing social networking sites to bully and disregard others of their own time.

“At Patcham Highschool we’re doing our greatest to lift awareness of the problems and to coach our students at the harm this may do to both the victims and the longer term prospects of the perpetrators.”

Austen Hindman, deputy headteacher at Hove Park School, said: “Our Learning Transformation project at Hove Park has shownus the positive effect of social media, but educating students concerning the dangers of the net needs to be a core a part of every school’s curriculum.”

Scott Freeman from Brighton hooked up the cyberbullying charity Cybersmile after his daughter was affected by internet trolls. He said: “The effect that cyberbullying is having on families and youngsters is basically devastating and time and time again we see it’s costing people their lives.

“They are left with this surreal amount of stress and hurt and we’re seeing almost daily everyone is taking their lives for this reason.”

A Brighton and Hove City Council spokesman said: “We were informed recently by a person school and youth work partners that local teenagers were using Facebook to spread rumours and derogatory comments about their peers. We responded by emailing all secondary schools alerting them to this issue and reminding schools of national organisations to contact and the way to request closure of Facebook pages.

“The email also encouraged schools to alert parents and carers and to revisit messages about e-safety and cyber-bullying. Schools responded positively to the sharing of this data.”

A Facebook statement said: “We are clear there isn’t any place for bullying or harassment on Facebook. When a page crosses a line and posts bullying content then we’ll remove it. We now have a true name policy and supply our users reporting links on every page of our site that allows you to flag content to us for removal. We encourage people use these tools with the intention to take appropriate action.”