September 23 2014 Latest news:
Sunday, February 10, 2013
A head teacher used a monthly newsletter to hit out at parents who had been criticising his school on Facebook.
Martin White, head teacher at Drayton Junior School, called on unhappy parents to approach the staff with their concerns, rather than vent their fury on social media sites.
In the school’s newsletter, which goes out to all parents, he also questioned why concerned parents did not send their children to other schools close by.
Mr White said in the newsletter: “The overwhelming majority of parents know why they send their children to Drayton Junior and remain positive about the school.
“Please, if you have any concerns, don’t sit there and complain on Facebook, come and speak to us. It might make you feel better.”
Speaking this week, Mr White said that his comments on the newsletter were “tongue in cheek”.
He added: “I have had a huge amount of positive comments about the newsletter, and nobody has come to me to say they don’t like it. I have a note here from someone saying, ‘I congratulate you - it was brilliant’.
“It’s very much tongue in cheek and there’s a level of humour in it. I don’t think it’s a big issue. I know that some parents are going to moan about the school, but if you do have an issue, come and talk to us about it. We have an open door policy.”
He said only about four or five out of the hundreds of parents with children at the school, had been involved in the Facebook comments.
And he said the Facebook article was one of about 10 in the newsletter.
Mr White said, in the newsletter, that some parents had criticised the school for either closing when it should have remained open, because of the snow, or opening when it should have closed.
Comments were also made that the children only played games, watched DVDs and did colouring in the last two weeks of term.
Another comment posted on the social media site said children were getting picked on, although Mr White said no one had spoken to the teacher about this.
Concerns about the education children were receiving was a more general comment, he said.
Junior school staff not clearing paths and playgrounds when staff at other schools did was another comment, even though that was the caretaker’s job, he said. And there were also personal comments about teachers that he said he could not repeat.
“I am beginning to wonder why some people send their children to this school if they are so concerned when there are perfectly acceptable other schools close by,” he added.
Mr White said that more comments were posted on Facebook after parents received the newsletter.
One parent, Kerry Douglass, from Thorpe Marriott, emailed the Evening News and said: “My son attends Drayton Junior school and is in his second year and my youngest son is signed up to attend there this September.
“However, due to what came home in my son’s school bag, I am seriously considering changing this to Taverham Junior.
“The school was at the end of last year put on special measures by Ofsted and looking at this newsletter I can see part of the reason why with the attitude of the head teacher.
“He has outraged many parents by this and I know many parents are wishing to take this further. What a shame; he is supposed to be a role model for our children yet has acted unprofessionally.”
The school’s last Ofsted inspection in November last year said that it was “making reasonable progress towards the removal of special measures”.