Castle Vale School teachers’ strike: national press headlines

Yesterday’s teachers’ strike at Castle Vale School has provided material for the regional and national press today.
The Daily Mirror has the headline: It’s like zoo: 40 teachers walk out of school as children run riot……..Staff say they fear for their own safety as kids bring in knives, fight in lessons and let off fireworks in corridors
The Daily Mail’s headline is: More than 40 teachers at under-achieving school strike over ‘dangerous’ pupils
The Birmingham Mailhas listed it in the top five most read stories of the day, under the headline: Castle Vale teachers strike amid bad management and poor behaviour claims
The strike was featured on last night’s regional news on ITV Central and BBC Midlands Today early and late evening bulletins.
Jean Downey, a long-time resident of the estate and Chair of Castle Vale’s 2005 Group who work voluntarily to improve services and conditions in the area, fears that the newspaper and television reports are giving a false impression.
“Castle Vale is not like that at all,” says Jean. “Somebody is trying to blacken us and our reputation, and take us back to the way we were in the bad old days of years ago. It is definitely giving the public the wrong impression of this estate.”



21 responses to “Castle Vale School teachers’ strike: national press headlines

  1. Well it’s not the 1st time the media has embellished the truth and I’m sure it will not be the last.

    What is a shame is the real message seems to have been lost. How? Was it to fit in with a ‘strike criteria?’ that it was titled as a demonstration against poor pupil behaviour. My impression as a resident and a parent is that the staff are disgruntled with decisions the Head has taken without consultation and by changing his senior staffing structure to get rid of staff that oppose him.

    The feedback from young people and parents is that the school is too strict in some respects i.e if you have forgotten your pencil and have no money to buy one ‘go home’, if you are 1 minute late ‘go home’, if you played football at break and have mud on your trousers ‘go home’, if you take a leaking water bottle out of your bag and put it on your desk ‘go home’. My son had all these and more!

    An the amount of parents that become frantic when they receive a text saying their child is not in school, when the in fact are and teachers just have not noticed is mad!

    I had a conversation yesterday with another parent whose son asked her ‘am I invisible?’. She thinks now he may be as his is ignored by teachers, they don’t seem to know who he is and a letter congratulating him on an achievement mentioned a learning activity with the words ‘I assume’ by the Head! – Why couldn’t he take the time to find out???

    We all had high hopes when Mr Owen took over from Janet Putman. She had done lots for the school and moved it forward. We hoped that this would continue, but what has gone so seriously wrong I have no idea. The kids in Castle Vale are not all bad, again it is the small minority ruining it all for others and they certainly do not deserve the untrue headlines this strike has produced.

    The management and staffing structure at the school is obviously broken and is unlikely to be fixed now the media have hyped it up. So what is the way forward? The idea of an Academy, which a few years ago I would have campaigned against, looks very appealing and certainly the results they are producing elsewhere are much needed in our school. I just hope parents take advantage of the opportunity to influence what happens and make decisions for the benefit of their children’s futures.

    And now I have had my say 🙂

  2. This is a very sad day for Castle Vale.Its greatly improved reputation has been severely damaged by the bad publicity that now covers the pages of the national press. I have been watching this situation grow over recent months and in my
    opinion the villain of the situation is

    The question has to be asked: Who invited all of the various tv camera’s and the national press onto the school yesterday and who will benefit most from this ugly situation? Because it was defintely a well planned and cynical publicity campagn…. The pupils will lose out, as will the parents and staff…xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

  3. Apologies for typo’s….

  4. I would like it to be known that the “x’s” above were added by the editor of Vale Mail and that a large part of the comment was also removed. So much for so called journalistic values and “free speech”? . I stand by what I have to say and happily put my name to it.

  5. Michael, I do agree with you that this is a sad, sad day for Castle Vale, but I don’t think that we can point the finger at any one person or situation. As a parent I have seen the situation slowly declining. Loosing the Schools for the Future funding, I personally think, was a huge turning point and now everyone seems to have lost hope – staff & pupils. If you go to school in an environment that has no hope, it will deflate everyone,

    The last school exam results was another turning point, when the LEA and the relevant government minister started to ask questions and mute that the school may become an Academy.

    Then we heard all the rumours about the changes to the management staffing structure. Staff were obviously talking about it as the pupils came home telling their parents. Again not a good environment for anyone.

    The year 11 strike was the 1st time the outside media became interested in what was happening and again missed the point, likewise yesterdays staff strike did the same thing. I seriously do not think that these 2 strike could have been orchestrated. How the media became aware? I don’t know, but anyone could have informed them.

    No one likes change and I am sure that the staff at the school are worried about the future. This is spilling out and affecting everyone. Emotions are high and no one really knows what is happening. The whole situation feels like no hope and no future.

    I may have missed a few other examples & apologise for that, but I have tried to stick to the facts as I understand them, others may disagree.

    The only way forward now is to look at what the best education for the young people who go to Castle Vale School.

  6. all the parents need to stand together on this and refuse to send their children to school until xxxxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxxx. according to the news last night the lea wont get involved. something needs to be done urgently.

  7. there is alot of lying going on in the media and eggageration i see? im a pupil and we dont walk around with knifes? and were not what you all say! i cant believe some of the headlines? It’s like zoo: 40 teachers walk out of school as children run riot……..Staff say they fear for their own safety as kids bring in knives, fight in lessons and let off fireworks in corridors as to that quote its complete lie! , pupils were not running riot! the school was closed to 7-10 and open to 11! … as to people saying we carry knifes i think not? just becuause your steriotyping us doesnt mean you can lie and brand us all these things? you dont seem to take our feelings into concideration ? come on there are loads of good pupils at our school … and the mojority of us want to succeed in school… .. and for the fireworks thing ? errm thats a lie to ? im sure i would know as im a pupil? ,,,,… seriously all this hate needs to stop ,,,! the teachers striked it was nothing to do with the pupils ? GOSH MY RANT OVER ! …. what everyone doesnt realise is your giving us a bad name …..

  8. LOOL about we go round with knives and fireworks! Not true but yeah suppose we’re famous now! Awh

  9. were well knows for something were not 😦 SAD TIMES

  10. why cant someone step in and help us?


  12. so much for freedom of speech Mr Editor when you dont allow my comments…

    All I said was who was to blame.

    And to the pupil – there are good and bad pupils in each and every school and teachers realise that, what they were protesting about was the lack of support from management when dealing with badly behaved pupils, they are the pupils that ruin your learning and every other childs learning in that class.

    Let me ask you a question, how many times have management been called by a teacher about a badly behaved pupil for the pupil to return to the lesson and ruin it for the you, the pupils and teacher? I bet you lost count.

    Teachers are striking because they CARE and not because of a small minority of badly behaved pupils

  13. ‘as children run riot’… Can you please confirm or deny the story my child brought home from school yesterday, that they were dismissed early due to the fact they were playing hide and seek in classrooms???!!!???

  14. From what I heared the senior management reastructure was because there was to many chiefs. The rest is just a kick back from certain staff objecting to this and racking up mud??

  15. I believe there should be members of staff on the governing body. So any behaviour issues should be disscuss at their meeting and recorded in the minutes which I beleive are available for anybody to read??

  16. Only local media were invited by the NASUWT… we were as surprised as anybody else!

  17. This was nothing more than a pre-planned operation to bring in the academy and hide the schools failings by blaming the pupils instead of the corrupt failing British education system…Fact!

  18. If any of my comments are with-held from this publication I will seek action and answers make that be known. I am not into secretive operations of any kind. I have posted two comments above this as well as two links…

  19. lisa Da-Costa

    I believe that the old tried and failed methods of exclusions detentions and other methods used to avoid the cause of the problem instead of addressing it but instead choose to brush it under the carpet needs to be changed for starters. I’m 41 years old and attended Castle Vale comp and those methods failed back then! It’s every child’s dream now to be excluded in one way or another that way they get to stay home or go out and do what they like and that’s punishment! don;t make me laugh. Not all teachers care and not all good teachers are good teachers, and more recently teachers are not even there that long to do any good because the school are always employing supply teachers normally fresh out of uni text book taught with little experience. Mrs Putman worked long and hard to bring the school up to scratch because of previous failings so to try and blame the pupils is very childish and irresponsible coming from grown professionals. Not all pupils are academic as much as they are creative the same way not all great Authors can write. Education should be about allowing a child to develop they’re own educational needs through choice and through expression and nurture with the basics of maths English and science. The British use one of the most complicated and uninteresting ways of explaining basic times tables. My point is this, the British Education system is one big con and there is plenty of research material and facts to back this up. The strike was either a sneaky way to introduce the Academy or a sneaky way of having a stag at the marginalised pupils who you like to label as trouble makers who to me appear to be more frustrated with the complete rubbish education they receive by rebelling and questioning instead of conforming and fitting into the generic box.
    As the saying goes, I have never let my schooling interfere with my education.
    ~Mark Twain~

  20. lisa Da-Costa

    I also believe that to have an open and honest debate about this situation it would be ignorant to look at it from a broader perspective as opposed to not looking further than your local press or media. If you have a question and no-one can give you the answer is it not logical to look for it yourself as I was told by my mother as a child “Where there’s a will there’s a way” So don’t allow what’s directly in front of your two eyes prevent you from searching further………I am not alone in my thinking it seems….

  21. As a parent to a year 8 pupil i attended the options evening….where a has to choose from 4 subjects…Art PE IT and Drama…i was just wondering have any parents or pupils got any remarks on this as when i asked a senior member of staff how would this benifit my child I was left with no explanation….