In response to your article Children ‘Not Safe In School’ on December 8, the headteacher of Forge Valley School stated “To support pupils, we have a dedicated safeguarding team, a team of year managers and a health and wellbeing officer (first aid) to protect the wellbeing of our pupils. That sounds like an awful lot of people!
I have a grandchild at the school who needs extra support to cope in school so I am aware of some of the issues there.
From my own observations when visiting the school there are five year managers – there is someone in charge of safeguarding who has been absent for much of this year, reportedly due to stress.
The rest of the “dedicated” safeguarding team are the already mentioned year managers. Those same year managers also share responsibility for the “health and wellbeing” job and on my visits there I have seen year managers working in reception answering the phone etc.
So, in my estimation that is five people doing at least four jobs each while supporting about 200 pupils apiece.
What the headteacher should have said is “we have five people run ragged looking after the needs of 1,000 pupils while doing two or three other jobs. There is bound to be victims and a little blood spilled under those conditions. Here’s what we’re going to do about it...”
I, and I’m sure others, would have had a little respect for someone admitting to a problem and being prepared to do something about it. The head’s honeymoon period is over, it’s time for parents to call the school to account.
The school needs to put its energy into fixing its problems and not trying to put gloss and spin on bad news and talking about “importing DNA” from a school that would run just fine with the Chuckle Brothers in charge.