Wednesday 5 February 2014

Protest: Retired teacher not allowed to help struggling Copland students

Guest blog by ex-student of Copland High School

As an Ex-Copland student, I found it absolutely alarming and ridiculous when I familiarised myself with the manner a previous teacher of mine along with some students are being treated by the senior management of Copland High School. 

Mr. Philip Allman, a renowned ex Politics and Humanities Teacher at Copland High School has been refused the right to voluntarily offer support, help and guidance to struggling  A2 pupils in Year 13. I find it preposterous, that with a challenging Economy, Job Market and ever rising competition in the places at UK Universities, that offering help voluntarily during retirement is neglected by so called caring head teachers. Mr Allman is being  prevented from helping the pupils who had fallen behind offering unconditional support and help in his own time.

His request for access to a classroom on site  has been completely ignored by the management at Copland High School. He has to teach them at another local school 2 miles away !!!!

What I find even more disturbing is that, Mr Allman was a very successful teacher at Copland for the best part of 30 or so years and is now being treated in a disgraceful and disrespectful manner - I have included the email request that Mr Allman sent to Richard Marshall (Current Headmaster of Copland High School), A number of sixth form pupils are having to travel a few miles to the another high school on Friday afternoons leaving them exhausted, mentally and physically fatigued at the end of a long academic week. 

Mr.Allman, retired along with several additional teachers being offered voluntary redundancy last year,He has voluntarily taught a number of Copland students  who had fallen behind in there exams as they had no teacher for over 6 weeks .However he is prevented from providing assistance and support within the school!!!! The Head doesn't seem to care!!

I would strongly request that you email a link to this blog or something similar to as many people as possible, currently at Copland High School, ex-students, teachers in the local borough and senior figures you may know who can make a real influence towards how circumstances such as these, get solved with a positive result. It is of my utmost importance that this issue gets properly resolved, and the management of Copland is exposed to the level that they deserve. 

Yours Faithfully,

Mohammed Fazal Farooq

The emails

 As you may know I am  providing  voluntary support and teaching  six Copland Politics A2 students at another location in Brent. I have been doing so following requests from parents and students  on Fridays  since late  October from 3.40-6pm . However, as you can imagine its the end of the week, the students are tired and they have to walk just under two miles to get to the lesson. As a consequence some students do not arrive, depending on the weather,to after 4pm.

I  am now running my own company and thus  have numerous other commitments which prevents me from giving the students any more time other than on Fridays or through email and the phone.

If a classroom could be provided at Copland  immediately after school on Fridays it would save the students a great deal anguish and  hardship and allow me to give them more  supporting time. All I need is a white board  that I can write on and six chairs for the students. Any room would convenient.

Kind Regards

Phil  Allman

Subject: FW: Politics A2 REQUEST
Date: Wed, 5 Feb 2014 10:50:09 +0000

Hi Richard,

I understand you are very busy but I have to assume that your failure to reply to our request via my e-mail below is a no.

That you are not prepared to provide any help or assistance in supporting these students outside your existing commitments and legal requirements.

I hope you will not mind too much if I inform students, parents and interested parties of your non-response as I feel they have a right to know.


Phil Allman


Apefoo said...

As a student at copland, I would like to say that the situation right now at Copland is preposterous as the management board continue to dictate the school for profit disregarding the educational welfare of the students. It is horrendous, that people are willing to stand by and watch a cohesive local community school be transformed into a brutal business.

Anonymous said...

This is outrageous!!
No teacher for over 6 weeks, thats just going too far.

Anonymous said...

Copland students are increasingly beginning to feel like a number. It is no surprise that the senior management team have turned their backs to the issue. It simply illustrates how in a drive to make Copland suitable for an academy, the education, moreover well being of the students are being overlooked.

Anonymous said...

Well if I do say so myself, Coplands attitude towards the betterment of our future society is just shit!

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Phil Allman was one of the most effective and respected teachers in probably the most respected faculty in the school, Humanities. He is not alone in being effectively banned from going onto the school premises to voluntarily take students who were left in the lurch when the new management came in last July. The clear plan was to get as many of the staff out as quickly as possible in order to make the school more attractive to takeover by a n academy chain. Staff have been sacked or driven out or offered voluntary redundancy to go. As a result, many students came back last September to find that the subjects they had applied for and wanted to take had been scrapped and whole categories of course had disappeared. Some students who were halfway through an A level course found that the course had been discontinued or their teacher had gone, to be replaced by a succession of replacements. This happened to Phil Allman’s students.
The Humanities faculty had always been the most well-informed faculty in school management and organisation terms, it contained 2 of the staff union reps and Phil Allman had long been a school governor . All this was seen as somehow ‘dangerous’ and last summer, as ‘punishment’ the faculty was forced to move out of the area in the school which it occupied, a completely pointless exercise which was given a concocted rationale but which , it was clear to all staff, was retribution by management for the faculty daring to be ‘uppity’. By the end of July four of the longest serving and most respected members of staff in the school had decided that they were clearly no longer wanted by the new regime and they left.
Responsible for this were the kind of people who endlessly tell anyone prepared to listen that ‘the students are at the centre of all that we do’. The students who suffered, some of whom have contributed their views here, have good reason to question that.

Unknown said...

There is pretty much nothing I miss about Copland (I left in 2005) but if I had to pick one thing it would be attending Mr Allmans politics class. Or his geography class and maybe even his history class! I find it quite astonishing that who ever this Richard Marshall is, he is purposefully trying to keep a teacher who was and is so well respected and liked (anyone who went to Copland will remember the feeling that some 'teachers' there actually did not care about any of us and if we passed our exams or not - hence the reason most students failed. Richard Marshall should be honoured that a teacher like Mr Allman would even want to step foot back in that poor excuse for a school. When I joined Copland in 1999 the first thing we were told was how Copland was going to knocked down and a state of the art, brand new school would be built before my time at the school would be over. Year after year, the new intakes were told the same thing. The model of what was to be expected sat sad and dusty in the foyer up until the day I left. It wouldn't surprise me if it's still there gathering dust and used to trick 11 year olds into choosing Copland as their first choice in high schools. The one thing Copland had going for it was those handful of teachers (mostly, in my opinion, in the humanities department) who regardless of the hype and lies fed to us by the management of school continued to treat us all like individuals and put so much effort into us leaving Copland with more than a fail in our exams.

Well done Sir, you truly are an amazing man and its obvious to see why students would travel to be taught by you. To be honest, this only makes you look even better! Mr Marshall is obviously threatened by you and the way you have the trust of the students. Maybe we can start a petition to get you sitting in the Headmasters chair. Then maybe Copland might have a chance! I hope you continue to help and provide an injection of enthusiasm to your students as I'm sure, more than ever, these kids need it.

Anonymous said...

Well done Mr Allman for helping these students in their attempt to secure university places. Mr Allman is arguably one of the best teachers to come out of Copland alongside a few key members of the Humanities department. Teachers such as Mr Allman and several others in the Humanities department were truly inspirational and one of a kind. Nobody will ever understand these words unless they were actually taught by these teachers. It is such a shame that they are treated in such a manner and not able to help struggling students. Such expertise should be valued, and not be turned away when students need it most.

Anonymous said...

Parent and teachers at Copland were told that all the staff that have been made redundant or 'encouraged' to leave in other ways had to be got rid of to clear the school's debt which dated from the days of Davies's thieving. But the letter from the IEB sent to parents last week included a statement that the debt would be cleared when the academy took over. As this was always going to happen anyway (the 'consultation' was a joke) why was it ever necessary to get rid of all those teachers,support staff, the mentoring dept, football coaches, library staff, caretakers etc etc Was it a demand of Ark that any experienced (ie expensive) or independent-thinking teachers should be cleared out before they took over so that they could fill their places with cheap, standard-issue, unquestioning, 'I'm-passionate-about-making-a-difference' rejects from The Apprentice auditions? If this was not the reason, what was? And why did senior members of the teaching profession go along with it?

Anonymous said...

Is your question directed at Headteacher Richard Marshall, head of the IEB Grahame Price, or head of Brent Education Michael Pavey?

Anonymous said...

Judicial Review is the only way forward. Allow a judge to at least review conflict of interest.

Anonymous said...

Mr Marshall carried it out. Mr Price signed it off. Mr Pavey employed them both and takes overall responsibility. They all have different things to explain (and surely a duty to explain them).

Anonymous said...

You're all going off with your own agendas. this thread started with the question about why these kids can't be taught by Mr Allman at Copland. that's the question the headteacher should be answering. And if he can't the IEB head or Councillor Pavey should.

Anonymous said...

Mr Allman. You rock!!!!! Class of 93.

Anonymous said...

Head of Schools, Brent Council

Head of IEB ‘For the attention of Grahame Price’

Interim Head of Copland ‘For the attention of Dr Marshall’

Anonymous said...

Why am I not surprised that the Copland management oppose any initiative that has a proven effect upon a student's future. Their refusal to accomodate Mr.Allman is a sign of the management's petty refusal to acknowledge that the person most likely to help a student is the one that isn't in it for self-aggrandisement, or the promise of yet another 'cushy' number. I applaud Mr.Allman's initiative in filling a gap that was engineered by the current Copland management. Perhaps issues regarding Copland are becoming blurred but the fact remains that the systematic removal of both sucessful courses and the staff that so effectively managed them is pure idiocy. if I were Richard Marshall, or sitting on the IEB, I would be far more concerned about the formal qualifications and ability of the existing staff to deliver the core subjects and leave Mr.Allman to do what he does so well - as his results have shown! The same quality, I have been informed, is not evident within English at AS/A2 level (not mentioning GCSE) nor mathematics and the sciences.
All thanks is due to the school that has housed Mr.Allman. Perhaps, Richard Marshall and his minions could take a trip there to see what is possible when management genuinely promote learning.

Anonymous said...

True!. Mr Lantos at Preston Manor has demonstrated that he has more real concern for the A level students of Copland than Copland's own headteacher and Mr Price the chair of Copland IEB have. Not all that surprising as they were only paid to come in from outside to close the school down anyway and give it to Ark which is what they're going to do in September. Well done Mr Lantos for showing them how they are supposed to look after Brent students education.

Anonymous said...

Mr Allman is a great teacher, as was Mr Thyer (for those who went back as far as the 1980s at Copland). Phil Allman and Ray Thyer had the best results in Sociology in the borough when I was at the school, and they were instrumental in me getting a place at university. They also helped me to understand the importance of politics and public policy more generally. I thank them for switching me on to the importance of being engaged with society and all its structures. I wonder if the school leadership is looking to currently push grades down, prior to forcing the status change to 'Academy' going forward?

Anonymous said...

Nothing so Machiavellian, I think. More a case of Mr Allman, Ms Boldry, Ms James (and Mr Thayer in his day) being too independent-minded and confident in their own ability to be tolerated in the brave new world of centralised government power over the education of us oiks, imposed via careerist clones at council and school level who are prepared to adopt and reject jargon and orthodoxies as instructed and who lack the personal or intellectual spine to question or resist at any stage.
In future all teachers will look and act like the invertebrate Gove (including the women). Shiny and smooth, like an unsqueezed pimple.