School strikes: Letters to the Editor

The letters below have been sent to Tyburn Mail; the second of them has also been sent, by the writer of the letter, to the Birmingham Mail for their consideration.
Tyburn Mail does not comment on the views expressed within letters, and would normally wait until print before publication. But the issues dealt with in these letters are urgent, and may well be out of date by the time of our next print edition. Hence the decision to publish them online.

Dear Sir/Madam,

First of all l do not normally write to newspapers, but l felt l had to this time to say l fully back the teachers who are striking because of the bad behaviour of some of the children at the school.  l was always told by my dad that when he left me at the school gate that the teachers’ rules were law and if you misbehave and got told off you must have done something wrong. He also said do not come home and complain to him, because you should know right from wrong, so come on you students get your act together and behave yourselves.  It is hard enough being a teacher without you misbehaving.

l do also believe it is down to the parents to bring their children up to RESPECT the teachers, you are there to learn not to play around.

name supplied



To whom it may concern,
I have a daughter who attends Castle Vale School who like many other pupils has been  affected by recent school strikes. Another strike is planned for this Thursday 29/03/2012. This strike ( if it goes ahead ) needs to be covered by the media correctly as the past couple of strikes the pupils have been made out that they are all badly behaved children in various media coverage ( media says they are violent, knive carriers and hard to control children, totally untrue ! ). Maybe if the media was to speak to pupils, non striking teachers, their concerned parents and the Castle Vale community as a whole, they would realise that the lies that the union is telling the media are untrue !  I can tell you also that a majority of parents are 100% behind head Mr Clive Owen in running the school, and are thankful the way he has transformed the school over 5+ years he has been the head teacher. His sucess at the school has also improved the community spirit that now embraces the school that he has transformed from a under achieving school to one that is progressing greatly that parents are happy to send their pupils to. Something that disturbs me most is the behaviour of some teaching methods of some of these so called troubled striking teachers eg like being called by their first names in lessons ,speaking and acting like they are pupils they are teaching , their “ask three before me” rule (they like pupils to ask three other pupils before they ask the teacher if they are stuck in lessons ) and to turn a blind eye to pupils who are using their mobiles phones in lesson just because they don’t want confrontation ( seems like teachers are ill disciplined to teach and are not strong enough to be secondary school teachers at all !). Something I would also like to point out is that the school day is from 0845 until 1505 and if the teachers are 100% behind striking and the union is 100% profesional they would strike until the school day has finished and not just until the media coverage has gone away !

yours thankfully,
One upset parent.




18 responses to “School strikes: Letters to the Editor

  1. In reply to LETTER 2,

    Do you work at Castlevale school? Well I do! I know for a fact what the behaviour is like from a significant minority of pupils and it has caused personal injuries to a number of staff! Have you looked at the staff turnover recently? All the good staff are leaving or trying to leave, at this rate there will just be supply staff at the school. Ever wondered why?…
    In terms of parents- i don’t know what % are supporting or not supporting Clive Owen, but I do know this- over 350 signatures have been obtained to get rid of Clive and the number is growing!
    There are lots of things you are not aware of but no member of staff will give you the full story for fear of getting the sack!
    You need to start reading between the lines…

    Ask me a question and I will answer it if you really want the truth…

    Your thankfully,

    One upset member of staff

  2. concerned ADULT

    You are quite clearly in cloud cuckoo land “progressing greatly” castle vale school was one of the worst performing schools in the entire city and you say that Clive Owen is doing a good job, what a joke I would rather drive my daughter half way across the city than send her to castle vale while xxxxxxxxxxxxxx Please also bare in mind this latest strike would not be happening if xxxxxxxxx had not suspended memebers of staff who had spoken out against xxx

  3. Dear Letter 2.
    “Ask three before me” is a technique encouraged by modern educationalists. If you have 25 pupils in a class for a 1 hour lesson, it takes 5 minutes for them to arrive, you have to do a 5 minute starter, explain and demonstrate for 10 minutes, and 10 minutes for a plenary session and clearing ready for the next lesson, that leaves 30 minutes for pupils working (less unspecified time for questioning and answering to prove to observers monitoring of progress). That leaves 72 seconds to help each pupil. Therefore if pupils encounter a problem they are encouraged to try and solve it themselves, work collaboratively with their peers before asking the teacher. This teaching lark can get a bit complicated, it doesn’t work that you just put the problem on the board and then all the pupils get it right! I wish!

  4. “Ask three before me” sound all well and good ? but this could be used by a teacher with no interest in the class and knowledge of the subject.
    Also to staff1 what is “significant minority” when i went to school,i think that was a double negative or an oxymoron,cus i wus brung up propa like.
    To the writer of letter two,,well done ,have your say ,tell us all the truth..
    thank you ….

  5. Well evidently you weren’t. Just have to look at how you talk to show that you weren’t. How you talk, manners and respect is the parents job and the teachers job is to teach, people should realise that. xxxxxx needs to go xxxxxxxx , however some parents need to step up and take more responsibility for the children and not blame schools when they haven’t taught them how to learn or any respect for teachers, however many parents do a good job, but some do not and they are letting the side down. I support xxxxxxxx and bringing in closer ties with parents to make the school and parents work together.

  6. As an ex-member of staff that always used the “three before me” rule. This is a tried and tested method. The theory behind it is (after you have explained and demonstrated to students) they ask their friends for clarification as their friends are on their level and as such, can explain to them in their language. This is not a lazy tool for lazy staff, this is a tried and tested method that works!

    I never turned a blind eye to students on their mobile phones either.

    p.s. xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

    The head teacher increased community spirit mmmmmmmm xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

  7. thanks for all replies of my letter two mostly to madman.
    i see the tied is turning because school is opening thursday 29th to children and no strike action ,maybe my question about striking for full school day and wasting my childs education time has hit a sore point !
    And as i said “ask three before me” rule dont work (was told it a modern teaching technique) maybe teachers should go back to good old teaching methods instead . And lastly i accept the school is not the best preforming school around but has made great strides over recent years, if any of you teachers have not got a connection with the school or castle vale area over the past 20 years should do your homework about the area . If you do not like what you read maybe you should teach in a less challenging school enviroment like Sutton Coldfield !
    I for one am very proud of my child and that showed recently when i attended the Charity catwalk fashion show recently, Castle Vale school pupils get bad press for bad things but never get pats on the back for good work they achieve.

    one not so upset parent now school is not striking!

  8. hmmmmmmmmmmmmmm speak in the pupils own language, i do believe we all speak common English. dont insult the children please.

  9. i meant progressing greatly compered to what it used to be , sorry!

  10. i for one back each and everyone of those teachers that went on strike,just look at the exams results and the amount of parents that are taking there children out of the school and parents that are not sending there children to the school,ask those parents why they are doing upset like most people how, what is going on at the school its our children that are suffering,and my children like most that go to that school are polite and hard workers that get branded as bad pupils

  11. Sandra
    If the school was a football team and it preformed badly the you would
    consider sacking the team manager ( not always the correct solution)
    With a football team the players are seen performing by the world at
    every match,if they are not very good , everybody see it and they
    can all make a comment about the players performance.
    you wouldn’t then ask the manager to leave ?
    NOW the school,you don’t know how the teachers are performing,
    OR do you,league tables are supposed to give you a clue as to
    how well the school if performing .
    the school consists of the Head and the Teachers.
    the clue is in the name .

    “Letter two” you have my full support and admiration

  12. thank you mad man for your support. we didnt start this to cause any trouble, we are thinking of the future of our children and the future of other children that go to that school.that school has gone down over the last couple of years, i have 2 children in the school 1 in year 11 and the other in year i know from experience with what has happend over the years. so thank you again for your support

  13. George Taylor

    In the 5 years xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx the Improvement has been negligible. From 2006 – 2011 the gcse A* to C results have only grown slightly from 17% in 2006 to 29% uk 2011. This is quite poor as it would take another 6 years to meet national average. something has to change and if it has to be the management, so be it.

  14. Letter 2
    If the teachers went back to “good old teaching methods” Ofsted would deem the school “Unsatisfactory”!!!!

  15. Letter 2 has not got a clue!! I did some supply teaching at the school and I would love you to try teaching a lesson at the school and see how you get on. You would be shocked at your ‘little angels’. Obviously it’s not ALL of the pupils, that would be harsh but the vast majority don’t have any idea how to behave or speak to grown ups and this has to come from home. The pupils regularly tell students to ‘shut up’, refuse to hand over phones, have their parents call them in lessons! I’ve heard that the deputy is retiring soon. He is the only teacher who the children remotely fear. God help them when he’s gone…

  16. once again no one is looking at the facts of my first letter,and there are bad teaching methods at the school and bad pupils aswell, seems most of these so-called school workers/teachers who write on here have not prepared to look at there failures aswell as others .

  17. well done “letter two”,don’t give in to them,keep saying what your are right.I don’t think most of these comments are from teachers,they are just people making mischief.

  18. Dear Madman.
    Over 40 teachers at the school, against their natural instincts, were so angry at the situation they went on strike for three days. They took a serious stand, not people just making mischief!