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How to publically challenge a HT’s public comments?

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by Ezioclone, Oct 19, 2019.

  1. Ezioclone

    Ezioclone New commenter

    A new HT at a local Secondary school has made some public comments and claims effectively denigrading other local schools.
    I don’t work at either the school itself, or any of it’s local ‘competitors’, but am infuriated by the HT’s entirely ‘competitive’ comments, and would genuinely like to challenge him / hold him to account (especially given his supposed core values of ‘respect’, ‘collaboration’, etc. Unlike local teaching colleagues, I’m safe from his influence.
    I want to be professional but ‘rigorous’ in my criticism.
    What’s an appropriate way to challenge his (publically recorded) statements?
    I’ve never written to a local newspaper to raise the issue (s) but am considering this as an option. Another option would be to write to their Chair of Governors (but I would be unlikely to get a response, and it wouldn’t be publically visible.
    What options are there?
  2. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    Well, you can say whatever you want and the head can say whatever they want. Nobody adjudicates who is right. Why not go to wherever the head has posted their views and post your views in their comments section?

    You can challenge, but no-one is going to 'hold him to account'. Hold him to account for what?
    Piranha, digoryvenn and nomad like this.
  3. CWadd

    CWadd Star commenter

    So you don't work at the man's school, or for any of the others, but think you should make a public spectacle of what he has allegedly said.

    Why? Do you think the staff at his rivals haven't complained?
  4. Ezioclone

    Ezioclone New commenter

    No body formally adjudicates, for sure.
    But the public reputation of a school is important (certainly to it’s Governors), and a HT will have a tough time if members of the local community become unhappy at their HT’s statements? So perhaps a degree of accountability is possible?
    suzuki1690 and hamcguin like this.
  5. CWadd

    CWadd Star commenter

    "The HT will have a tough time"

    What are you hoping for? That angry parents will throw rocks at him, pull their children out, abuse him on social media? Lovely.

    You'll probably roll your eyes at that, but your own sentence smacks of an agenda. You don't work at the school. You don't work at the rivals. So why is this bothering you? If the school he runs is good, with good or better results, and pupils feel cared for, parents at that school won't give two hoots what he says about others, except to nod sagely that they were right to send their children there. As for the other schools, if parents/other HTs are unhappy, they have measures to deal with his comments. Why do you feel the need to do it yourself?

    Oh, and you're not safe. Start sending letters to newspapers, or making comments online that are traced back to you, and you could find yourself in hot water, if you have no evidence to back your claims up. If you are determined to pursue this, write to the CoG.
    digoryvenn, nomad and Pomza like this.
  6. Pomza

    Pomza Star commenter

    Do nothing and mind your own business?
  7. nomad

    nomad Star commenter

    1. Wear a sandwich board.
    2. Hand out fliers.
    3. Employ a pilot and plane to sky-write your comments.
    4. Employ a pilot and plane to tow a 50m banner with the same.
    5. Get it tattooed on your forehead and mingle with the school-gate mums.
    6. Hold a protest outside the school. Shout "What do we want? No denigrating comments! When don't we want them? Now!!"
    7. As above but don't shout anything. Communicate your disapproval by means of expressive dance. (Wear tights or a leotard).
    8. Paint your complaints on the outside walls of the school (but watch out for grammar-obsessed Roman soldiers).
    9. Change your name to 'Chardonnay ' and post it on MumsNet.
    10. Get Greta Thunberg to lobby for you at the UN. (She's good at this stuff).

    1. Get a life and mind your own business!
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2019
  8. Pomza

    Pomza Star commenter

    Definitely this one.

    Do come back and let us know how it went...
    Jamvic, Stiltskin, caress and 7 others like this.
  9. thebookyouwish

    thebookyouwish New commenter

    Do the things you have already thought of if you absolutely must.

    However I think probably most people in your local community have either taken no notice of what this man has said, or think he is a show boating pillock (and take his statements with a pinch of salt).

    If he's denigrating other schools, which is not going to endear him to anybody, surely it is up to them to deal with it and write letters.
  10. sbkrobson

    sbkrobson Star commenter

    All very good ideas. what efficiency. Do you work in P.R?
    Let's not forget "Hang on top of a train in a busy London station at rush hour, with a banner"
  11. thebookyouwish

    thebookyouwish New commenter

    Down with this sort of thing!

    Loving your work Nomad.

    [QUOTE="nomad, post: 12944926, member: 91069"
    1. Hold a protest outside the school. Shout "What do we want? No denigrating comments! When don't we want them? Now!!
  12. nomad

    nomad Star commenter

    I was just getting around to "Superglue your hand to the Head's car". :(
  13. sbkrobson

    sbkrobson Star commenter

    Now you're talking.
    But why stop there?
    Jump up and down outside their window wearing one of those plastic glasses nose and moustache things every time they have an admissions meeting.
    agathamorse and nomad like this.
  14. thebookyouwish

    thebookyouwish New commenter

    Stand outside their window with a boombox playing a pertinent song that I can't think of right now.

    Stop by the Spice Girls...?
    agathamorse and sbkrobson like this.
  15. install

    install Star commenter

    What crime has the ht committed? Why didn't you challenge the comments when they were said ? Who made the recording and why? Is there some history here?
    Pomza, CWadd and nomad like this.
  16. thejudgesscoresarein

    thejudgesscoresarein Occasional commenter

    Why are you going to challenge it if it doesn’t really concern you? I would personally raise your concerns directly with your line manager, if you so should wish, however, it’s not appropriate for you to make such a statement when you are not in a Headteacher position yourself.
    If you do persist, be very cautious in what you say, as this could be career damaging for yourself.
  17. HolyMahogany

    HolyMahogany Occasional commenter

    Schools are in competition with each other for pupils, nothing new about this. The majority of HT's will be professional, they will focus on their own schools successes and achievements, and all the positive things they have to offer. They do this without the need to make negative comments about other schools.
    There will always be a certain type of person who can only make themselves feel good by making others feel bad, or superior by slagging off the people around them. If this new HT is that sort of person then I suspect that their staff and peers at other schools are quickly finding this out.
    If other HT's are concerned about this behavior I expect that they will make their concerns known to this new HT in private, rather than get involved in a public exchange.
    If you feel the need to say something in public then, rather than challenging this new HT, why not write to the local press expressing your praise for the achievements of the other schools in your area.
    I understand your sense of annoyance at the behavior of this new HT, we are all tax payers, this person is a public employee, and yes they should be setting a good example. Sadly standards in public life are no longer what they were, after all when a man like 'Bonking Boris' the 'Beast of Brexit' can lie his way into office what can we expect.
  18. Piranha

    Piranha Star commenter

    If his comments are libellous, then the other schools could sue. If not, they can't do a lot, apart from respond in kind. But either way, the onus is on them to do it. I really can't see why you want to charge in, like the proverbial knight in shining armour, on behalf of schools you have nothing to do with and who can defend themselves.
  19. Piranha

    Piranha Star commenter

    If these comments are public, the governors will know about them and can decide for themselves if they should take action.
  20. JohnJCazorla

    JohnJCazorla Star commenter

    Don't forget the wise political saying,
    "Don't get into a muck throwing competition with a pig. You both get dirty but the pig likes it"

    Can't find this quote on the internet so I must have misquoted but the meaning is definitely correct.

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