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You will be aware that a recent Osted inspection has placed our local high school in special measures.

The angry and unprecedented headline in the Berwick Advertiser demonstrates the unhelpful kneejerk reaction that characterises so much of our media, whenever it gets a chance to sensationalise.

In spite of the good work done by so many members of staff, the supportive role of the governors – none of whom are paid for their voluntary work, and the many, many children who attend regularly, and work hard to succeed, the only word the Advertiser knows to label all these and their efforts is “Inadequate”.

It is not our place to suggest that Ofsted – and all the other little quangos staffed by non-practicing officials and appratchiks – is a destructive and unsupportive organisation, free to say what it likes, and with no responsibility for the consequences. Except that is what it is.

That a local paper, and voice in the community, seeks to undermine the work a school does with its students, is extremely distressing. How are students meant to feel when they see their school and its teachers treated like this? Is it intended to add to their self-confidence and desire to succeed? Is it going to add to the respect they must feel towards those who help them learn? I don’t think so.

Back to my choice of headline – it’s still our school, and the only one most secondary students are able to use. They don’t have the choice of going elsewhere – just as a patient at a “failing” NHS hospital probably won’t be able to find an alternative if they fall suddenly ill.

Issues always need addressing, and there are many ways that they should tackled. But let us hope that we as local residents can get behind our school as it seeks to go forward, and that our Local Paper will report each and every victory on the path to success.


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