Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Michaela deputy has controversial start at his new school

Barry Smith

Barry Smith, deputy headteacher at Michaela Academy for three years has had a rough start in his new job as principal of the former Great Yarmouth High School, now relaunched by Inspiration Trust as Great Yarmouth Chartered Academy.

Smith has hit local and national headlines as a result of importing Michaela methods into a school with its own ethos and history, rather than a brand new free school as Michaela was.

Parents admit that things were not perfect at GYHS but some are objecting strongly to the school rules and  disciplinary methods as well as the tone of Smith's communications, written and verbal, with parents.

Parents have set up a Facebook page 'Yarmouth High Worried Parents'  which currently has more than 1,000 members. A fascinating exchange of views is taking place on the page which cover the specific rules and their implementation but go wider to look at the rights of children and parents.  At present pupils are also making contributions on the page and opinions vary with some welcoming the 'calm' that the rules bring and others finding themselves at the receiving end of the demerits. Similarly some parents are keen to challenge, if not the rules, the way they are being implemented. Parents with children with special needs are concerned about whether their child will be able to follow rules such as 'tracking the teacher' where every child has to have his or her eyes on the teacher throughout the lesson. Children on the autistic spectrum often have a problem with making and maintaining eye contact.

The local authority has set up and investigation into the school's exclusion policy which had not been updated to reflect recent DfE guidelines LINK

Tomorrow parents are to meet with Mr Smith. It should be interesting.


Anonymous said...

Does "tracking the teacher" apply to practical lessons like chemistry? I can foresee "health and safety" problems if it does!!!

Anonymous said...

'Parents are to meet with Mr Smith.'

According to the BBC East news website, a spokesman for the Inspiration Trust said: "The academy will be holding a meeting for all parents in the coming days so they can hear first-hand what Great Yarmouth Charter Academy is really all about."

They don't just bully the pupils, they try to brain-wash their parents as well! Will they succeed?

The BBC report includes this from a parent about Barry Smith:
'Seeing a parent and child crying outside the school, Mr Seal told the BBC he politely asked the head: "'Excuse me, why are you doing this to children?' His reply was 'If you don't like it, get out.'"

Anonymous said...

I saw a report a while ago that Michaela got an 'outstanding' from Ofsted. I assumed that this was inevitable as it's a 'free' school and Birbalthingy was Gove and the Tories' darling. Apart from the crap nature of Ofsted inspections, Ofsted people would know that an 'outstanding' was what was expected of them and to deny the Birb one would be like failing to clap and burst into tears of joy when Kim Jong-Un walks into the room.
I certainly hope I'm right. I'd hate to have to question my prejudices. Can anyone enlighten me?

Mike Hine

Anonymous said...

Serious question: how did they do it and how credible is it?