Thursday 2 October 2008

”…We’re (Not) All Off To Sunny Spain, Oh, Viva Espania...”

It prides itself on improving attendance rates and warns parents that requests for term-time holidays are always turned down.

So they were a little surprised when their children came home saying school was shutting for a couple of days... as the teachers were off to Spain.

Today, the 80 staff at Edensor Technology College leave Stoke-on-Trent for a four-star resort in Marbella, on the Costa del Sol, to hold meetings about the school's future.
Never look at what people say about fairness, equality, justice, and being ‘in partnership’ with parents; always look at what they do.
The four-day trip will allow staff to discuss the curriculum and plans to turn the school into an academy.
By the pool..! Score!
Richard Mercer said: 'It's unbelievable, but it's more cost-effective to go abroad as it's the end of Marbella's season.

'We looked at conference facilities in Birmingham and London but they are even more expensive.

'We need to get all the staff together to discuss the new curriculum and the planned move to Park Hall to become an academy.

'If parents think this is a jolly they should join us and find out how hard the staff work. They are giving up their weekend.

'If you take out the place name, the training is the same, and the cost is the same because we booked a year ago.'
You mean, the headmaster of a school was previously unaware that holidays are cheaper out of season?

And your staff aren’t ‘giving up their weekend’ at all – they are being whisked off to a four-star resort at taxpayers’ expense to spend a few hours listening to policy wonks drone at them over PowerPoint slides and then…it’s party-time, baby..!
Parents were far from convinced, however. They pointed out that the prospectus for the the school, which has below average exam results, warns of the importance of 'regular and punctual attendance' so pupils, aged 11-16, can fulfil their potential.

If parents do not prevent their children from playing truant, they face a £50 fine and ultimately the threat of imprisonment.
Yes, but that’s just the children, obviously. It’s totally different if the school does it. It just is. Don’t ask why, drone, we aren’t asking for your opinion (just your money). We know best…
The resort complex at which the staff will be staying has a poolside bar, Turkish baths and a casino. It is a short stroll from the beach and is close to golf courses and watersports.

During the conference, they will hear from guest speakers including an education consultant and a curriculum expert, before returning on Sunday.

Meanwhile, the school, in Longton, will be closed today and tomorrow.
Sounds exhausting
Stoke-on-Trent's mayor Mark Meredith, said: 'At a time of global financial crisis, this is not the message that a Stokeon-Trent school should be delivering.

'This really is a crazy move when thousands of people across the city are feeling the pinch. Whether it's cost-effective or not, this is doing damage to the reputation of our schools.'
Well, firstly, let’s not try to get the ‘credit crunch’ shoehorned into everything, ok? It’s still be a scandal even if the economy was booming. The key message here is that the school are sticking two fingers up to the taxpayer and the parents of the children who attend it by saying, in effect, ‘It’s one rule for us and another for you’, and they are doing it secure in the knowledge that there will be little comeback on them.

And secondly, about that ‘reputation’…:
Last year, just 34 per cent of pupils at the college achieved at least five good GCSEs including English and maths. The national average is 46.7 per cent.
Actually, perhaps they should all stay in Marbella. The results might actually improve
The school said in a statement that it had obtained quotes from nine venues and the Marbella complex had been the cheapest.

'We are investing in training our staff to ensure the continuity of quality education for our pupils.'
Mmm, that ‘quality education’ you speak of? Doesn’t look like much for the money, now does it…?

Update: (Ed - this is the other one...) Not so fast, freeloaders..!
A school has abandoned plans to hold a teacher training conference in the upmarket Spanish resort of Marbella after the story sparked a storm of protest.

Staff from Edensor Technology College, Stoke-on-Trent, were due to fly out today but school chiefs pulled the plug as they arrived with their suitcases.
Hmm, wonder if there'll be a headmaster vacancy arising in the near future, too...?


Anonymous said...

I heard the storyof this trip being cancelled on the radio where they said that "The headmaster blamed the press for the cancellation", as though it was a perfectly reasonable trip that the media picked up on unfairly.

Anonymous said...

Yup, the Beeb carried that interpretation too.

It's only a wonder he didn't say:We'd have gotten away with it, too, if it wasn't for you meddling media...!

Anonymous said...

The amazing thing is that these turds think it was perfectly reasonable, and that it is outrageous that public pressure led to the cancellation.


Their fucking arrogance is unbelievable. Training? With their record they need firing, not training.

Anonymous said...

The pictures of them heading back to their cars with their suitcases while being trailed by reporters were pretty satisfying...

Letters From A Tory said...

Why don't they just stay at school and hold training sessions there like every other school in the country? Why did they even need conference facilities?!

Anonymous said...

"Why did they even need conference facilities?!"

Welcome back from conference, LfaT! I read somewhere (can't find it now) that the headmaster had been asked this, and replied someething to the effect that 'staff respect training more if it isn't in-house'.

Looking at the images of that resort, I can see why!

david cameron's forehead said...

Funnily enough, it actually isn't one of the worst schools in the city. My old school gets worse results & so do a couple of others. Though I have got a mate who lives almost next door to it, & they look like a right bunch of cunts when they tip out in the afternoon.

Anonymous said...

"Funnily enough, it actually isn't one of the worst schools in the city. My old school gets worse results..."

Oh, dear! So much for the Dear Leader's cry of 'Education, education, education' then...

Trouble is, the opposition don't seem to have much of a clue either, preferring half-baked stunts like 'using the army to teach'.