Monthly Archives: October 2013

Bid for £750k school all-weather pitch rejected

Bid for £750k school all-weather pitch rejected

A School’s plans for a brand new £750,000 floodlit all-weather pitch shouldn’t go ahead.

Dorothy Stringer, in Loder Road, Brighton, desired to build a 107m by 76.5m facility on its playing fields.

Richard Bradford, the school’s headteacher, claimed it can see a “largely unusable, badly-damaged waterlogged space” changed into a community facility.

But hundreds of individuals objected, voicing concern over the opportunity of light pollution and the removal of 2 protected mature elms.

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After an hour-long discussion yesterday Brighton and Hove City Council’s planning committee rejected the scheme by ten votes to 2.

In an announcement released after the meeting, Mr Bradford said he was “hugely disappointed”.

He added: “While the faculty regretted the capability lack of two mature elms for this development, we believed the total benefits outweighed this loss.

“This included the addition of 30 elms to the national elm collection, the bio-diversity net gains of the proposed butterfly havens and enhancements to the education and health of generations of youngsters.

“We were shocked to listen to the view of a few councillors that tackling obesity isn’t the responsibility of faculties but must be treated at home.

“The Government certainly see tackling obesity as both ours and the councils’ responsibility.”

The college said it had already secured £500,000 from the Football Foundation towards the project with the remainder being raised from income for bookings.

Phelim MacCafferty, chairman of the council’s planning committee, said: “I don’t think it’s a great thing to assert that development is on your good but we need to lessen two brilliant trees.

“I’m undecided that’s appropriate.”

Special report: What now for our kids over division on issue of free schools?

Special report: What now for our youngsters over division on issue of free schools?

Similar to Marmite, free schools have a knack of dividing opinion.

For some they’re the way forward for education; creative innovators on the forefront of education doing things state schools could simply not consider.

For others, they’re rogue schools; freed from Government control, local authority accountability and driven by an ideological agenda.

In Brighton and Hove this division is on the heart of party politics.

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Despite huge pressures on school places, the golf green Party is unrelenting of their opposition to free schools and academies.

That Nick Clegg has raised doubts over their role only serves to focus on the party’s own concerns.

Meanwhile the Conservatives cut a frustrated figure as they see free schools and academies as a potential technique to the college place squeeze but cannot do anything to result in the change.

But where does this leave the way forward for educational provision within the city?

In a nasty place argues Patrick Lowe, chairman of governors at Coldean Primary School and chairman at Brighton and Hove Governor Association.

He said: “I think the largest issue inside the city is the existing Green administration has not provided any sort of vision of where they’re going or an answer.

“The Conservative government has pop out with these new ideas at no cost schools and academies but what are the administration going to do in the event that they aren’t given that as a viable option?

Are they honestly going to hold on until the tip in their term hoping that these bulge places are enough?

“It puts large challenges on whatever party is in administration inside the next term. It should make it very difficult.”

On the heart of the governor’s association is the main of teamwork and partnership.

Mr Lowe believes this philosophy ought to be applied to the town council that allows you to be sure solutions are found and steps are taken to be sure the way forward for education in Brighton and Hove.

He said: “The council has instructed officers to take a look at it in place of seeking cross party solutions. Our organisation is ready partnership and everybody on board in moving forward.

“We desire to see more of that from the administration in coming to solutions. What we won’t see at that time is a few form of collective common ground.”

And this philosophy shouldn’t exclude free schools despite the fact that they may be struggling.

Mr Lowe said: “Each free school and academy relies by itself merits. Some are awesome and others poor. Everyone should interact. We have to bring those successful free schools in and interact in partnership in preference to deal with failures of a few schools.”

It might appear an easy solution but there seems no want to shift the ideologies of the opposing parties, with both re-emphasising their beliefs after they were approached to The Argus.

Sue Shanks, chairwoman of the city’s Children and Young People’s Committee, has laid the blame squarely on the feet of Labour and Conservatives for the “fragmentation of children’s education”.

She said: “Greens oppose the main of free schools and academies because they take education faraway from local democratic oversight, they permit interest groups to set curricula, anyone can teach our kids with none experience, they usually set their very own pay and stipulations for workers and admissions policies for college students.

“To get the perfect deal for our youngsters, we work very closely with those free schools and academies that experience already been established within the city. However the school places problem will never be being helped by this and the last government’s policies – not least because they permit specialist schools to open up randomly, and in doing in order that they also are preventing councils from organising local school places properly.

“Instead we believe the govt should reinstate funding and powers for councils, who’re best placed to offer new school places. That’s the only way all children around the city can have access to an excellent local school where the curriculum is broad and balanced.”

Around the dispatch box, Andrew Wealls, Conservative spokesman for education, highlights the success of academies akin to Portslade Aldridge Academy and the recognition of the Bilingual School.

He said: “These are very exciting times.

“As a political candidate i’m attempting to focus attention on value added.

The progress made was particularly strong.

“I want to see more free schools and academies come to Brighton and Hove but i’m not particularly bothered if current schools convert or not.

“They will see the benefits and downsides and it’s as much as them. i’m keen to look such things as more innovation in education and that suggests new schools provided outside of the council.

“The bilingual school is testament to that. It took parent power and many drive from the academics and oldsters to get it started up and the town will cash in on that.

“If you have got a powerful board of governors and a great headteacher then education is what’s really important and delivering better attainment for kids.

“That is what has to be concerned about. i don’t really have much of an issue with schools deviating from the National Curriculum.

We regularly get complaints concerning the National Curriculum bringing too many rigidities in education.

i don’t think the National Curriculum is the solution to each question.”

Faraway from town Hall the placement is solely as divisive.

Mum of 2 daughters Louise Greenbaum is against free schools and believes more will be in the event that they knew the level in their autonomy.

She said: “There is lots wrong with free schools. Top of the list for me is the injustice of them and howthey fit into the education system outside of the control of Local Authorities.

“It is social selection by another name. Funding is being diverted to simply help a couple of.

“This is when state schools are doing an excellent job under tight budgets.

“I am also thinking about the very fact they could hire unqualified teachers and don’t ought to persist with the national curriculum. I a great deal believe Nick Clegg.”

Much have been product of the Deputy Prime Minister’s questioning of those issues at free schools.

However the headteacher at one of the most top independent schools inside the country believes unqualified teachers shouldn’t be a cause for concern, not least because he’s one.

Richard Cairns, headteacher at Brighton College, openly admits he has no formal teaching qualification and nor perform a little 30 of his staff.

But he doesn’t believe this, or deviating from the national curriculum which they could do on the independent school, are bad things.

He said: “I strongly believe that teachers are born not made and that i will actively hunt down teachers from all walks of life who’ve the aptitude to inspire children.

“Once teachers are within the school, they have got a discounted teaching timetable so they can spend time observing other good teachers and are actively mentored. By the top of the year, they may be, in our view, better trained than any PGCE student.”

The battle is determined to rumble on with neither side flinching.

But with the pressure on school places and provision growing apparently something might want to break or the city’s children may be left with a paucity of options borne from a scarcity of partnership.

Hove head teacher warns of internet dangers

Hove head teacher warns of internet dangers

A head teacher has warned parents of the significance of speaking to children in regards to the dangers of the net – saying children may be exposed to “addictive behaviour, sleep deprivation, unsafe contacts and access to damaging and abusive content”.

Dr James Kilmartin, from Cardinal NewmanSchool inside the Upper Drive, Hove, issued the warning following a parents’ meeting on the school earlier this month.

He said children were taught about esafety in personal, social and health education (PSHE) lessons that have been element of the National Curriculum since 2000.

Previously sexual health, drug-taking and alcohol formed the root of PSHE lessons.

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In a letter to folks, Dr Kilmartin said: “From my standpoint probably the most details made on the meeting was that, regardless of the technology or blocking mechanisms available, the most efficient valuable thing we will be able to do as a college and as parents/ carers is to speak to our kids in regards to the risks inherent in internet-related technology (including addictive behaviour, sleep deprivation, unsafe contacts and access to damaging and abusive content).

“We have to guide and support them to make the precise choices.

“This approach has much in common to the best way we also try and support our youngsters in managing other areas of risk they are going to be exposed to.”

Chatting with The Argus, Dr Kilmartin said: “We are aware the net is likely one of the many risks that face teens.

“Young people face risks on the subject of driving, drinking and sexual conduct – here is another one.

“We have put lots of emphasis on esafety from the word go.”

He said he couldn’t ban pupils from using Facebook, but added it was forbidden for youngsters aged 13 and under to have an account.

This isn’t the primary time Brighton and Hove head teachers have spoken out about social networking.

Haydn Stride, head of Longhill Highschool in Falmer Road, Rottingdean, called the location the “new toilet wall” after pupils in Brighton and Hove joined a page devoted to spreading vicious gossip.

He warned all his school’s parents after he discovered students as young as 13 had signed as much as a page which occupied with spreading malicious and unfounded gossip about other youngsters in June.

Earlier this month Jonathan Whitfield, head at Woodingdean Primary School in Warren Road, asked Facebook to delete profiles belonging to underage children.

In May this year children as young as five at Coldean Primary School in Kenwards, Brighton, were to be banned from using school computers – unless they sign contracts promising to act online.

School names and shames bad parker

a faculty has issued an appeal for a “lady driver” who was “unforthcoming” and “rude” to return forward – or even published an image of her car parked on double yellow lines.

Cottesmore St Mary’s within the Upper Drive, Hove, shamed the lady driver by publishing the picture in its latest newsletter that’s distributed to oldsters.

The college said it the newsletter: “It was reported, by a parent, that this car parks at the zigzags or the double yellow lines day by day.

“Apparently, on Wednesday the woman car owner was asked to go off the zigzags pre end of day pick up.

“She then apparently had moved onto the double yellow lines, making it difficult to show the corner and thus making it dangerous for the youngsters to cross the line.

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“Apparently the woman driver was asked to maneuver again by a parent but was unforthcoming and apparently somewhat rude.

“Obviously i’ve got only heard one side of this story.

“If this car belongs to you or someone , please do pass on our concerns about illegal parking and the impact it could have at the safety of our kids.”

Yesterday no person responded on the school.

A Brighton and Hove City Council spokesman said he couldn’t comment specifically at the incident on the school, but added: “Zigzags are typically in place where it’s dangerous for individuals to park, for instance outside a college entrance or at the lead as much as a crossing.

“Zigzags are enforceable 24 hours an afternoon seven days every week unless there’s a sign that states otherwise.

“We at the moment are issuing tickets by post for these offences.

“This implies that if you’re seen, by a CCTV operator or a Civil Enforcement Officer, to be parked on a zigzag a penalty charge notice would be sent to the registered keeper of the vehicle.”

A Sussex Police spokesman added: “Parking in restricted areas for the sake of some minutes’ walk is simply laziness and is plainly hazardous to children arriving at or leaving school.

“Officers from the neighbourhood policing teams and road policing regularly check schools around starting and finishing times and vehicles parked illegally might be ticketed.

“Any schools experiencing parking problems should speak to their school liaison officer or local neighbourhood team.”

Bid to maintain old style fields

 

Campaigners are attempting to maintain the playing fields of a historic school so it may remain open to the general public.

Brighton and Hove City Council is being urged to incorporate the playing fields of the previous St Aubyns’ School in Rottingdean inside the local conservation area to give protection to the village from overdevelopment.

Residents fear that the Cothill Educational Trust, who closed the faculty after 118 years this summer, will sell the land to developers for lucrative housing.

The trust confirmed to The Argus yesterday they’ve had quite a few interested parties but that it was too early to claim what shape any future use of the location would take.

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Brighton Kemptown MP Simon Kirby has written to Brighton and Hove City Council asking the authority to offer protection to the land and could raise the difficulty with chief executive Penny Thompson in a gathering today.

Mr Kirby said: “The site have been a green space probably for centuries and that i don’t think individuals are against development but are concerned that the nature of the village might change if the fairway spaces disappear.

“Clearly there’ll be a redevelopment however is vital that it’s appropriate and of a scale and sort fitting a historic village.”

Rottingdean councillor Mary Mears said: “I have checked with planning guidance and since it’s been in educational use there are various of planning restrictions and covenants on that site.

“It doesn’t be straightforward for developers to construct this sort of large housing development that Rottingdean residents really wouldn’t want.”

Fellow local councillor Lynda Hyde said: “The indisputable fact that the land may well be used for development is the enormous fear.

“There has always been an unspoken agreement that if the gates were open, people could go directly to the fields and so they has been used at the odd occasion for public events.

“As a ward councillor i’ve been disappointed with the shortage of knowledge being given out by the trust.”

Tim Verdon, bursar of the Cothill Educational Trust, said: “It’s early days and we’re staring at all possibilities.

“We have had multiple people approach us for a lot of uses and we’re their viability.

“We desired to give attention to making the last terma success and make sure that the youngsters had fun and it ended nearly as good because it could and so we’ve got only just began to consider what to do with the location.”

Penny Thompson, chief executive of Brighton and Hove City Council, said: “We have received an email from Simon Kirby in regards to the playing fields and should be looking into the failings raised.”

Thousands hit by teachers strike as unions warn more could follow

Banner-waving teachers braved an early morning downpour as they picketed outside Bhasvic College.

The initially gloomy outlook soon made for unseasonably warm sunshine and the approving horns of passing motorists.

About 30 union members gathered outside the school at the corner of Old Shoreham Road and Dyke Road before heading right down to the key rally on the Pavilion Gardens.

In the course of the day protesting teachers repeated the identical three mantras: regret for resorting to industrial action, passion for his or her profession and contempt for the policies of Education Secretary Michael Gove.

Philip Anthony, the National Union of Teachers (NUT) representative at Bhasvic, said: “There’s a feeling that although many are reluctant to resort to strike action we’ve reached the purpose where there’s no alternative because Michael Gove isn’t listening.

“Quite most of the people are beeping their horns and giving because the thumbs up, that is quite encouraging.”

Assistant secretary for NUT Brighton and Hove Ron Gordon, who was also outside Bhasvic, said: “We don’t like to be celebratory about closing schools, but today shows the strength of feeling.

“A lot of oldsters have shown understanding with the predicament that teachers were installed.

“Some people have linked schools closures with fines for absences. That’s an exceptional point, but it’s misdirected. These fines are imposed by the govt – another ill-thought-out policy teachers address.”

Bhasvic teacher Gallit Shaltiel added: “Education isn’t a business and these policies will make teachers give attention to pay.

“We desire to do the ideal for all students, not only those in our class. Teaching isn’t about being competitive.”

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After an hour outside the school the gang joined up with hundreds more on the Pavilion Gardens, awash with union banners, piercing whistles and megaphones.

Teachers old and young were joined by children, relatives and well-wishers with an estimated 2,000 joining the primary march shortly after 11am.

Roads were closed because the marchers were strung out around the city centre, before culminating in rallying speeches on the Brighton Centre.

Snaking down North Street, the protesters headed up the Old Steine, up Marlborough Place towards York Place, and up Trafalgar Street.

Stretching out the suitable a part of a mile, marchers proceeded down Queens Road and West Street, ending at about 12pm.

Will Power, of Varndean College, said: “There’s a feeling of solidarity.

Individuals are standing up for what they think in.

“I hope it’ll make a difference but I’m unsure Michael Gove cares. My main concern is people might be scared clear of the profession.

“I think Gove is making state schools so difficult to work in so he can push forward his academies plan.”

While several city councillors took to the streets in solidarity with the protest others weren’t so sympathetic.

Councillor Patrick Warner, of Eastbourne Borough Council, tweeted: “Disappointed that my enthusiastic hardworking son didn’t have sufficient numbers of teachers at Bishop Bell to teach him today.

“I strongly believe that our youngsters shouldn’t be used as pawns in disagreement with the federal government.

“Teachers don’t always have a simple job but they’re still protected against a few of the harsh realities of the true world.”

Others were equally unimpressed after being caught up in closed roads.

Carl Druce, a delivery driver stuck in queues, said: “I’m not likely to lie, it’s quite annoying. It’s put us several hours behind.

“Teachers receives a commission greater than many people and get quite a lot of day off, so I’m not likely sure what they’re protesting about.”

James Hawkins, of Brighton who also got stuck around Trafalgar Street, said: “It’s just a little inconvenient.

I don’t think they truly have much of a gripe with each of the pay and holidays they get. They get a great number of assist in class with assistants, I don’t really know it.”

With hundreds of marchers reaching a standstill on West Street some went right into a 400-capacity conference room on the Brighton Centre but others dispersed so the street could reopen.

Rowena Gerrett, of Dorothy Stringer, said: “I’m really cross because there have been most of these people stood within the road and the police advised the NUT to get us to disperse.

“Plenty of people peacefully did what they were asked and now there’re numerous empty seats within the room.”

Inside protesters were addressed by Brighton Pavilion MP Caroline Lucas and NUT secretary for Lewes, Eastbourne and Wealden Phil Clarke.

Mr Clarke said: “This is set greater than pay, pensions and retirement ages.

“This is ready teachers standing up for ourselves as professionals.

This can be a defence of state education.

“We don’t need to strike again.

We wish the govt to peer sense. But we’re prepared to in the event that they won’t.”

He called for a coordinated strike among workers to fight against Government attacks at the public sector.

MPCaroline Lucas told the audience the Greens were the sole party supporting the action.

She said: “There’s a true sense of common cause to assert to Government that they have got to desert the ideology that claims private is ideal and public is bad.

“We want public services back and we are going to fight for them.

“Each crisis is getting used by the govt as a possibility to roll back the state.

“Gove doesn’t trust you to do your job. Until he does his job better he should stop worrying a lot about how you’re doing yours.”

Also speaking was Fire Brigades Union representative Steve Liszka from Preston Circus, who said firefighters were facing a similar attacks on conditions as teachers.

He said: “In two decades time we don’t realise we’ve got failed our kids. It really is concerning the way forward for the education system.”

A few of the loudest applause was reserved for Noah Rutter, of Blatchington Mill.

He said: “I didn’t become a teacher for the cash or pension, but since it was something i wished to be pleased with.

“It upsets and angers me when Government and press show so little understanding and phone us selfish and greedy.

“If we were greedy we’d are getting investment bankers.

“We must stop Gove bulldozing education and attempting to turn it right into a private enterprise.”

Sussex braces itself for faculty strikes

Hundreds of colleges are expected to be close tomorrow as teachers go on strike in a row over pay, pensions and dealing conditions.

Thousands of fogeys should make alternative arrangements for his or her schoolchildren – and The Argus provides you with all of the latest news on school closures.

Our reporters would be speaking to unions, teachers and oldsters outside schools, on picket lines and at marches.

We are going to be running a live blog at theargus.co.uk from 7am on Thursday to bring you all of the latest updates and reaction from the strike.

You’ll join the controversy on Twitter with the hashtag #sussexschoolstrike or use the comment feature at the blog to have your say.

We wish to hear from as plenty of people as possible.

Do you support the strikes? Are you angry it’s worthwhile to stay at home and preserve the kids? Have you ever lost out on a day’s pay?

Or are you a teacher who’s on strike? In that case why?

Tell us tomorrow and we are able to ensure your views go within the live blog.

Schoolchildren running right worldwide

Schoolchildren are two thirds of how running from Addis Ababa to Hanoi after a soggy day at Hove Park.

Greater than 7,000 primary school students have begun their 7,289km mission and today could be the last stretch.

Schoolchildren from Brighton and Hove has been donning their togs for Run the realm on Wednesday and yesterday and pupils from Worthing will pick up the baton today.

Over the process three action-packed days, which started at Preston Park in Brighton on Wednesday, children between the ages of 7 and 11 might be at the fitness trail as they cover a kilometre each.

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Twenty-two Brighton schools and 14 from the Worthing area have signed up a complete of seven,864 pupils who will cast aside their text books for the day in return for a taste of a virtual journey of a life-time.

Yesterday, the young runners didn’t let the damp conditions deter them from completing their 1,000m.

Today, runners will clock up the metres at Homefield Park in Worthing.

Andy Shaddick from Southern Water, who’s sponsoring the development, said: “We are delighted to again be supporting this fantastic sporting challenge.”

  • Don’t miss our Youth in Action supplement on Wednesday for more pictures.

Deaf pupil moved from Woodingdean school after claims of bullying

 

A mother has told how her disabled daughter was bullied out of her primary school by a “terrifying” child.

Nine-year-old Lacey Nethercott was taken out of Woodingdean Primary School by her worried mother Michelle who told how her daughter endured three years of harassment and physical violence.

On one occasion Ms Nethercott claimed Lacey, who’s profoundly deaf, was punched so hard by her tormentor that her hearing aid fell out.

She said: “Lacey often came home and said she have been hit so hard it felt like her skin was breaking. She was afraid to visit the lavatory in case the woman followed her.

“But the academics didn’t do anything.

They simply gave her a Thought Book so she could write down her feelings, which didn’t help in any respect.

“I blame the faculty, not the bully.

“She’s too young to grasp what she’s doing, however the school have completely failed my child by not taking action.”

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Headteacher Jonathan Whitfield admitted staff were familiar with “unfortunate incidents” but said all allegations were handled properly.

Yet even after Lacey moved to a different school in Brighton, her ordeal continued when the bully began sending nasty Facebook messages to her mother.

Ms Nethercott said: “Lacey was next to me when the messages popped up so she saw them. It was terrible.

“I feel so stupid having to dam slightly girl from my Facebook but I don’t know what else to do.

“I couldn’t believe she’d been capable of finding me. She’s so young but she’s quite scary.”

Sussex Police confirmed they were investigating a report of online harassmentmade by Ms Nethercott.

Another parent, Ian McQuade from Woodingdean, said he took three of his daughters out of the college once they were all attacked by an identical bully.

He said: “All my daughters were terrorised by this girl for months.

“She stabbed one among mydaughters within the head with a fistful of pencils.

My daughters said they didn’t return so I moved all of them to a different school.

“I just don’t think the college is taking this seriously enough.”

But headteacher Mr Whitfield insisted the allegations were taken “very seriously indeed”.

He said: “Our recent Ofsted report said pupils feel safe in school. That’s there in black and white.

“The difficulty is that the oldsters of bullied children often don’t see what action has actually been taken.

“These are unfortunate incidents but as a college we’ve a responsibility towards every child that comes here.

“That includes the bully in addition to the victim.”

Brighton College headteacher urges schools to permit pupils to rate teachers

A head teacher has said schools should follow in his prestigious college’s footsteps and permit pupils to rate their teachers.

Richard Cairns is asking at the Government to make it compulsory for college students to play an element in assessing the performance of teachers.

The Brighton College headmaster told a conference yesterday that pupils need to be given the risk to rate their teachers at the quality in their lessons to assist cope with under-performance inside the classroom.

Mr Cairns told the Headmasters and Headmistresses’ Conference of independent schools annual meeting that he has introduced what’s regarded as the primary system of its kind at his own school.

Under the rating scheme, pupils at Brighton College, based in Eastern Road in Brighton, are asked to fill in a web questionnaire about each in their teachers.

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It’s regarded as the 1st time that scholars was asked to assist appraise their teachers in one of these way.

The shape includes 22 statements or questions including “my teacher sets clear expectations for my studies and the standard of my work” and “my teacher is obsessed on his subject” with students asked to offer a grade for every statement or question starting from one, that is positive, to 5, that is negative.

Pupils also are free to feature their very own comments.

The findings are then collected and used as portion of a teacher’s appraisal.

an identical system have been also introduced on the London Academy of Excellence that’s co-sponsored by Brighton College.

Mr Cairns said pupil appraisals were the one objective way of praising good teachers in addition to being the root for serious conversations with those who aren’t doing well He added: “It is used because the basis for discussions in appraisal meetings, either to praise good practice, or inform the setting of targets.

“All good heads know what the ‘word at the street’ is regarding good or bad teachers but we don’t have any objective evidence except those who arise from lesson observations and exam results.

“We have put some huge cash into school inspection and we’re very excited about standards in schools however the key consumers – the pupils – don’t seem to be consulted. That strikes me as crazy.”