Former Blackburn headteacher backs probe into Pleckgate High School

Former Blackburn headteacher backs probe into Pleckgate High School

Cherry Ridgway

Robin Campbell

First published in News
Last updated
This Is Lancashire: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

A FORMER headteacher has spoken of his concerns that a previously ‘good’ school has been placed in special measures.

Robin Campbell, who was head of Pleckgate High School, Blackburn, for nine years, said he was surprised at the number of staff departures since he retired 18 months ago.

His comments came as a petition was launched online calling for an investigation into the leadership of current head Cherry Ridgway.

The school was rated inadequate after an inspection in December, with inspectors pointing out ‘a culture of mistrust’ between governors, teachers and Ms Ridgway.

Ms Ridgway said she acknowledged the school had some difficulties but hit out at ‘inflammatory’ statements made on the online petition.

The petition was also criticised by a teachers’ union, who said the issue should not become a ‘trial by social media’.

Launched by Sue Brown of Hoghton, and addressed to MP Jack Straw, it states: “Morale at the school is now so low we fear for the welfare and health of the staff, children and parents feel powerless to stop this as loyal, supportive governors have also been disbanded.

“This has got to stop.”

Mr Straw said: “I am not in a position to launch any kind of investigation but I will be looking into this matter.”

Mr Campbell, who supports an investigation at the school, said: “As the former head of what was a good school I am very saddened to see its decline over the past 18 months.

“To have moved into special measures in such a short time is very disappointing and I was surprised at the number of staff who have departed.

“These were good staff in the majority, all of whom had the interests of Pleckgate at heart.

“The three previous Ofsteds were good or good with outstanding features and something has gone wrong somewhere.

“I am sure parents will be equally as concerned.”

Signatories of the petition included a former deputy headteacher and other members of staff, past and present, as well as pupils.

One said the council had ‘failed the school by not carrying out an impartial investigation’ while another that she was ‘sad at the demise of what used to be one of the best schools in the borough’.

Ms Ridgway said: “I am very disappointed by some of the inflammatory and untrue statements that have been made about this school and me personally online.

“However, I acknowledge the very real concerns some people have about this school in light of the Ofsted judgement and I want to address these.

“When I joined the school as headteacher in 2012, Ofsted had already highlighted concerns about teaching and I had to make changes that were necessary and in the best interests of pupils, but some people inevitably found these changes difficult.

“These changes have already started to pay dividends, with improved attendance, strong achievement in maths and improving attainment in science all highlighted in the recent Ofsted inspection, but of course there is still a long way to go and we have a robust plan to place to continue our journey of improvement.

Coun Dave Harling, Blackburn with Darwen Council executive member for schools, said: “We are aware of the online petition and debate around issues at Pleckgate High School.

“This does nothing to help education or the welfare of pupils and is highly damaging.”

Blackburn NUT rep Simon Jones said the petition was not the way for people to make their feelings known.

Comments (52)

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11:32am Tue 11 Feb 14

caballo says...

There is of course the outrageous possibilty that Ms Ridgway is a stooge, charged with failing, thus ensuring academy status!
There is of course the outrageous possibilty that Ms Ridgway is a stooge, charged with failing, thus ensuring academy status! caballo
  • Score: 32

1:02pm Tue 11 Feb 14

noddy57 says...

Schools today lack the respect of the old system and we keep hearing of bad grades and low expectations,, just forget all the modern ideas and go back to the original format and like many private schools who still have much of the old school criteria its a winning formula, l left John Rigby in 1972 and we just scraped through on the old standards but we could see the signs of the new eroding the old but proven system,
Schools today lack the respect of the old system and we keep hearing of bad grades and low expectations,, just forget all the modern ideas and go back to the original format and like many private schools who still have much of the old school criteria its a winning formula, l left John Rigby in 1972 and we just scraped through on the old standards but we could see the signs of the new eroding the old but proven system, noddy57
  • Score: 11

1:06pm Tue 11 Feb 14

Secondchild says...

I think that I have now heard it all when a Trade Union rep is saying that a petition is not the way for people to make their feelings known (Lancashire Telegraph). Is this the same union that has consistently failed to represent their members on this issue despite the fact they have a legal obligation to do so. If the Unions had represented their members in a proper manner this disastrous situation could have been resolved many months ago but they chose the easy way out and did not believe what their members were telling them.
I also note that Councillor Dave Harling is aware of the petition and the debate around issues at Pleckgate School. So what is he doing to resolve it? I just hope that people remember his stance when it comes to the next elections
And she is still telling lies.
I think that I have now heard it all when a Trade Union rep is saying that a petition is not the way for people to make their feelings known (Lancashire Telegraph). Is this the same union that has consistently failed to represent their members on this issue despite the fact they have a legal obligation to do so. If the Unions had represented their members in a proper manner this disastrous situation could have been resolved many months ago but they chose the easy way out and did not believe what their members were telling them. I also note that Councillor Dave Harling is aware of the petition and the debate around issues at Pleckgate School. So what is he doing to resolve it? I just hope that people remember his stance when it comes to the next elections And she is still telling lies. Secondchild
  • Score: 48

1:38pm Tue 11 Feb 14

Ladysadie says...

One example of ms ridgeways new rules - children most put on and take off their coats outside whatever the weather and entering the school whilst still wearing your coat will see it confiscated. I saw a friend of my son walking home in the cold, pouring rain and he was drenched because his coat was taken by a teacher. You could say rules are rules but she didn't bother to inform the children of the new rule before she stationed her policemen, sorry, teachers inside every entrance. This is just one of her ridiculous new rules.
One example of ms ridgeways new rules - children most put on and take off their coats outside whatever the weather and entering the school whilst still wearing your coat will see it confiscated. I saw a friend of my son walking home in the cold, pouring rain and he was drenched because his coat was taken by a teacher. You could say rules are rules but she didn't bother to inform the children of the new rule before she stationed her policemen, sorry, teachers inside every entrance. This is just one of her ridiculous new rules. Ladysadie
  • Score: 40

1:41pm Tue 11 Feb 14

voice of reason10 says...

I am glad the previous Head Teacher has got involved, supporting the investigation. It has taken some amount of heart searching, I am sure, but for Mr Campbell to speak out in this way is very welcome indeed.
I notice that Ms Ridgway is disappointed in the personal attacks made on her - REALLY? What a cheek and a two-faced response, at exactly the same time she is suspending senior staff at the school and ruining their lives.
This lady has ruined the educational chances for literally hundreds of children and yet SHE tries to come out of this looking as though she has a heart!! She is calculating, cold and manipulative who has practised cronyism on a scale previously not thought possible, she has reigned over the biggest demise of a school, created a 'corrosive atmosphere of distrust' and her actions are slowly coming to light. I, too, think some of the comments on the petition are unwise, but these are just kids having a laugh - the really incisive comments by serious pupils and staff are heartfelt and shocking.
I think Simon Jones should wind his neck in - he failed to support the staff when they asked him to, and if he is serious about helping now, he should launch an investigation into the systematic and sustained mental bullying of the staff and the pupils at this school before it is too late.
I am glad the previous Head Teacher has got involved, supporting the investigation. It has taken some amount of heart searching, I am sure, but for Mr Campbell to speak out in this way is very welcome indeed. I notice that Ms Ridgway is disappointed in the personal attacks made on her - REALLY? What a cheek and a two-faced response, at exactly the same time she is suspending senior staff at the school and ruining their lives. This lady has ruined the educational chances for literally hundreds of children and yet SHE tries to come out of this looking as though she has a heart!! She is calculating, cold and manipulative who has practised cronyism on a scale previously not thought possible, she has reigned over the biggest demise of a school, created a 'corrosive atmosphere of distrust' and her actions are slowly coming to light. I, too, think some of the comments on the petition are unwise, but these are just kids having a laugh - the really incisive comments by serious pupils and staff are heartfelt and shocking. I think Simon Jones should wind his neck in - he failed to support the staff when they asked him to, and if he is serious about helping now, he should launch an investigation into the systematic and sustained mental bullying of the staff and the pupils at this school before it is too late. voice of reason10
  • Score: 66

2:36pm Tue 11 Feb 14

burner says...

QUOTE from above . . . " And she is still telling lies. "
.
She certainly is.
QUOTE from above . . . " And she is still telling lies. " . She certainly is. burner
  • Score: 31

4:17pm Tue 11 Feb 14

mylittleprincess says...

I have a child attending this school and I am absolutely appalled and disgusted at the level of disruption taking place. Why an earth are the authorities reluctant to take the necessary action against the head who appears to be destroying the livelihoods of teachers who have served the school for many years ? How many teachers are presently absent from school ? How many have left because they couldn't take the bullying any more ? How can this be good for the pupils who have to be taught by the remaining teachers who feel the pain of what is happening to their colleagues. I am a very worried and angry parent at this moment and I don't think I am the only one !
I have a child attending this school and I am absolutely appalled and disgusted at the level of disruption taking place. Why an earth are the authorities reluctant to take the necessary action against the head who appears to be destroying the livelihoods of teachers who have served the school for many years ? How many teachers are presently absent from school ? How many have left because they couldn't take the bullying any more ? How can this be good for the pupils who have to be taught by the remaining teachers who feel the pain of what is happening to their colleagues. I am a very worried and angry parent at this moment and I don't think I am the only one ! mylittleprincess
  • Score: 35

4:20pm Tue 11 Feb 14

mylittleprincess says...

mylittleprincess wrote:
I have a child attending this school and I am absolutely appalled and disgusted at the level of disruption taking place. Why an earth are the authorities reluctant to take the necessary action against the head who appears to be destroying the livelihoods of teachers who have served the school for many years ? How many teachers are presently absent from school ? How many have left because they couldn't take the bullying any more ? How can this be good for the pupils who have to be taught by the remaining teachers who feel the pain of what is happening to their colleagues. I am a very worried and angry parent at this moment and I don't think I am the only one !
I have a child attending this school and I am absolutely appalled and disgusted at the level of disruption taking place. Why an earth are the authorities reluctant to take the necessary action against the head who appears to be destroying the livelihoods of teachers who have served the school for many years ? How many teachers are presently absent from school ? How many have left because they couldn't take the unfair pressures any more ? How can this be good for the pupils who have to be taught by the remaining teachers who feel the pain of what is happening to their colleagues. I am a very worried and angry parent at this moment and I don't think I am the only one
[quote][p][bold]mylittleprincess[/bold] wrote: I have a child attending this school and I am absolutely appalled and disgusted at the level of disruption taking place. Why an earth are the authorities reluctant to take the necessary action against the head who appears to be destroying the livelihoods of teachers who have served the school for many years ? How many teachers are presently absent from school ? How many have left because they couldn't take the bullying any more ? How can this be good for the pupils who have to be taught by the remaining teachers who feel the pain of what is happening to their colleagues. I am a very worried and angry parent at this moment and I don't think I am the only one ![/p][/quote]I have a child attending this school and I am absolutely appalled and disgusted at the level of disruption taking place. Why an earth are the authorities reluctant to take the necessary action against the head who appears to be destroying the livelihoods of teachers who have served the school for many years ? How many teachers are presently absent from school ? How many have left because they couldn't take the unfair pressures any more ? How can this be good for the pupils who have to be taught by the remaining teachers who feel the pain of what is happening to their colleagues. I am a very worried and angry parent at this moment and I don't think I am the only one mylittleprincess
  • Score: 14

4:40pm Tue 11 Feb 14

Ladysadie says...

With all the good staff having left/been pushed out, promotions are being given to inappropriate staff members (yes men?) for example, I took my daughter to the open evening and a prominent member of staff was clearly inebriated, whilst constantly swigging from a bottle of 'pop'. Needless to say I sent my daughter elsewhere. This same staff member has now been given a very high ranking position within the school & as this is just one example I still foresee problems even if the head should leave.The children are definitely suffering the effects of this woman and how they are supposed to study and do well in an atmosphere of in-fighting,bullying & resentment is beyond me. Something needs to be done without delay.
With all the good staff having left/been pushed out, promotions are being given to inappropriate staff members (yes men?) for example, I took my daughter to the open evening and a prominent member of staff was clearly inebriated, whilst constantly swigging from a bottle of 'pop'. Needless to say I sent my daughter elsewhere. This same staff member has now been given a very high ranking position within the school & as this is just one example I still foresee problems even if the head should leave.The children are definitely suffering the effects of this woman and how they are supposed to study and do well in an atmosphere of in-fighting,bullying & resentment is beyond me. Something needs to be done without delay. Ladysadie
  • Score: 33

5:38pm Tue 11 Feb 14

Retired Teacher says...

Please will all the worried parents attend the meeting on Thursday and support their children, each other and the staff. Sometimes the LEA is forced to listen to large numbers of parents where they ignore teachers who complain. You have the ultimate sanction-send your children to another school. I know this is not possible for the year 11s who are so near their GCSEs but for the others, please consider your options. However also bear in mind that this may all be a plot to change Pleckgate into an Academy or worse. I don't envy you your choice, it's a crying shame that a good school should be destroyed in this way.
Please will all the worried parents attend the meeting on Thursday and support their children, each other and the staff. Sometimes the LEA is forced to listen to large numbers of parents where they ignore teachers who complain. You have the ultimate sanction-send your children to another school. I know this is not possible for the year 11s who are so near their GCSEs but for the others, please consider your options. However also bear in mind that this may all be a plot to change Pleckgate into an Academy or worse. I don't envy you your choice, it's a crying shame that a good school should be destroyed in this way. Retired Teacher
  • Score: 24

5:39pm Tue 11 Feb 14

Renny78 says...

If you care about this school please sign the petition that is simply asking for an investigation into the 'goings on' of all these in't linked with cherry ridgeway at pleckgate - many staff have been pushed out on grounds MUCH less serious than this!

https://www.change.o
rg/en-GB/petitions/j
ack-straw-investigat
ion-into-leadership-
of-cherry-ridgway-at
-pleckgate-high-scho
ol#

Over 1300 pupils, parents, staff current and past as well as concerned citizens signed and added very heartfelt comments about how strongly they feel this needs to be stopped for the good of pupils and teachers alike;

https://www.change.o
rg/en-GB/petitions/j
ack-straw-investigat
ion-into-leadership-
of-cherry-ridgway-at
-pleckgate-high-scho
ol#

Once you've had a look at that you may also feel compelled to complain directly to ofsted on 0300 123 4666 or fill in the online complaints form or perhaps see if jack straw will give you some answers? How much longer can this be allowed to go on. It is akin to allowing abuse to go unchecked.
If you care about this school please sign the petition that is simply asking for an investigation into the 'goings on' of all these in't linked with cherry ridgeway at pleckgate - many staff have been pushed out on grounds MUCH less serious than this! https://www.change.o rg/en-GB/petitions/j ack-straw-investigat ion-into-leadership- of-cherry-ridgway-at -pleckgate-high-scho ol# Over 1300 pupils, parents, staff current and past as well as concerned citizens signed and added very heartfelt comments about how strongly they feel this needs to be stopped for the good of pupils and teachers alike; https://www.change.o rg/en-GB/petitions/j ack-straw-investigat ion-into-leadership- of-cherry-ridgway-at -pleckgate-high-scho ol# Once you've had a look at that you may also feel compelled to complain directly to ofsted on 0300 123 4666 or fill in the online complaints form or perhaps see if jack straw will give you some answers? How much longer can this be allowed to go on. It is akin to allowing abuse to go unchecked. Renny78
  • Score: 25

6:56pm Tue 11 Feb 14

voice of reason10 says...

I see that Ms Ridgway has said that the debate taking place on forums such as these is damaging and unhelpful. She also says that at best, the comments are untrue.
I am happy, at any time, to discuss my concerns with Ms Ridgway and a reporter from the Telegraph (perhaps Dan Clough can set this up) and I can go through my comments in detail and she can tell me which of my statements are untrue.
I'll even buy coffee.
I see that Ms Ridgway has said that the debate taking place on forums such as these is damaging and unhelpful. She also says that at best, the comments are untrue. I am happy, at any time, to discuss my concerns with Ms Ridgway and a reporter from the Telegraph (perhaps Dan Clough can set this up) and I can go through my comments in detail and she can tell me which of my statements are untrue. I'll even buy coffee. voice of reason10
  • Score: 30

6:58pm Tue 11 Feb 14

PowerCorruptionAndLies says...

Ofsted allegedly recommended that a third deputy headteacher* be appointed. Coincidentally, one of the Blackpool cronies brought in last year as an assistant headteacher** (because there's not enough of those already at Pleckgate) was then recently shuffled into the "temporary" role. Yet another assistant headteacher role was also advertised recently.

* THREE deputies? I've never heard of that before, especially in light of Pleckgate already having more assistant headteachers than the school knows what to do with.

** In charge of improving English and maths, despite being a history specialist.

It's interesting that the two hard-working senior members of staff (whose integrity could NEVER be questioned) who have recently been suspended are already employed in those roles.
Ofsted allegedly recommended that a third deputy headteacher* be appointed. Coincidentally, one of the Blackpool cronies brought in last year as an assistant headteacher** (because there's not enough of those already at Pleckgate) was then recently shuffled into the "temporary" role. Yet another assistant headteacher role was also advertised recently. * THREE deputies? I've never heard of that before, especially in light of Pleckgate already having more assistant headteachers than the school knows what to do with. ** In charge of improving English and maths, despite being a history specialist. It's interesting that the two hard-working senior members of staff (whose integrity could NEVER be questioned) who have recently been suspended are already employed in those roles. PowerCorruptionAndLies
  • Score: 34

7:34pm Tue 11 Feb 14

Eric Broadbent says...

What absolute rubbish being spouted by Simon Jones and Dave Harling who declare that a petition is not the answer - when there is an injustice and where those with the power and wherewithal to intervene (ie Messrs Jones and Harling) sit back and do nothing, a petition is a legitimate - and democratic - means of raising concerns. It is actually Mr Harling's inaction and that of others which is creating the harm. To say that a petition (ie words) is "highly damaging" is nothing more than emotive claptrap and ducks the issue which, let's face it, is what councillors do best.

A real concern is that when the inevitable happens and Ms Ridgway leaves it will be with a fat, six figure payout - that is highly damaging, Mr Harling, and an insult to the public money thrown away. Ms Ridgway should do the decent thing and fall n her sword and resign. Children are a very precious commodity and they are the ones who are suffering. Enough is enough.
What absolute rubbish being spouted by Simon Jones and Dave Harling who declare that a petition is not the answer - when there is an injustice and where those with the power and wherewithal to intervene (ie Messrs Jones and Harling) sit back and do nothing, a petition is a legitimate - and democratic - means of raising concerns. It is actually Mr Harling's inaction and that of others which is creating the harm. To say that a petition (ie words) is "highly damaging" is nothing more than emotive claptrap and ducks the issue which, let's face it, is what councillors do best. A real concern is that when the inevitable happens and Ms Ridgway leaves it will be with a fat, six figure payout - that is highly damaging, Mr Harling, and an insult to the public money thrown away. Ms Ridgway should do the decent thing and fall n her sword and resign. Children are a very precious commodity and they are the ones who are suffering. Enough is enough. Eric Broadbent
  • Score: 30

7:36pm Tue 11 Feb 14

GiftHorse says...

How can any teacher be expected to work in this climate of fear? When the headteacher seems bent on 'purging' the school of half its staff, so that she can replace them with her own cronies (several of whom act as her informers - all part of her police state, I exaggerate not) , there's something seriously wrong. Yes, this headteacher has frequently told lies to her staff, pupils and has been exposed as a liar on several occasions. She seems to have a real dislike of teachers, pupils and possibly people in general. She wouldn't dream of saying something positive to her committed and highly professional teaching staff - what happened to encouraging good practice? - Instead she's looking for reasons/excuses to demoralise and, in many cases, dismiss or suspend her colleagues. It's her changes that have seriously disrupted the pupils' educations - a good example would be how the Year 11's have been swapped around with various class changes, being made to repeat coursework for no reason - all because of this headteacher. No one has stepped in so far - including OFSTED and the LEA. Let's hope the meeting on Thursday is well attended and parent power has some clout.
How can any teacher be expected to work in this climate of fear? When the headteacher seems bent on 'purging' the school of half its staff, so that she can replace them with her own cronies (several of whom act as her informers - all part of her police state, I exaggerate not) , there's something seriously wrong. Yes, this headteacher has frequently told lies to her staff, pupils and has been exposed as a liar on several occasions. She seems to have a real dislike of teachers, pupils and possibly people in general. She wouldn't dream of saying something positive to her committed and highly professional teaching staff - what happened to encouraging good practice? - Instead she's looking for reasons/excuses to demoralise and, in many cases, dismiss or suspend her colleagues. It's her changes that have seriously disrupted the pupils' educations - a good example would be how the Year 11's have been swapped around with various class changes, being made to repeat coursework for no reason - all because of this headteacher. No one has stepped in so far - including OFSTED and the LEA. Let's hope the meeting on Thursday is well attended and parent power has some clout. GiftHorse
  • Score: 32

10:12pm Tue 11 Feb 14

Ladysadie says...

GiftHorse wrote:
How can any teacher be expected to work in this climate of fear? When the headteacher seems bent on 'purging' the school of half its staff, so that she can replace them with her own cronies (several of whom act as her informers - all part of her police state, I exaggerate not) , there's something seriously wrong. Yes, this headteacher has frequently told lies to her staff, pupils and has been exposed as a liar on several occasions. She seems to have a real dislike of teachers, pupils and possibly people in general. She wouldn't dream of saying something positive to her committed and highly professional teaching staff - what happened to encouraging good practice? - Instead she's looking for reasons/excuses to demoralise and, in many cases, dismiss or suspend her colleagues. It's her changes that have seriously disrupted the pupils' educations - a good example would be how the Year 11's have been swapped around with various class changes, being made to repeat coursework for no reason - all because of this headteacher. No one has stepped in so far - including OFSTED and the LEA. Let's hope the meeting on Thursday is well attended and parent power has some clout.
Could someone please tell me where & what time this meeting is on Thursday?
[quote][p][bold]GiftHorse[/bold] wrote: How can any teacher be expected to work in this climate of fear? When the headteacher seems bent on 'purging' the school of half its staff, so that she can replace them with her own cronies (several of whom act as her informers - all part of her police state, I exaggerate not) , there's something seriously wrong. Yes, this headteacher has frequently told lies to her staff, pupils and has been exposed as a liar on several occasions. She seems to have a real dislike of teachers, pupils and possibly people in general. She wouldn't dream of saying something positive to her committed and highly professional teaching staff - what happened to encouraging good practice? - Instead she's looking for reasons/excuses to demoralise and, in many cases, dismiss or suspend her colleagues. It's her changes that have seriously disrupted the pupils' educations - a good example would be how the Year 11's have been swapped around with various class changes, being made to repeat coursework for no reason - all because of this headteacher. No one has stepped in so far - including OFSTED and the LEA. Let's hope the meeting on Thursday is well attended and parent power has some clout.[/p][/quote]Could someone please tell me where & what time this meeting is on Thursday? Ladysadie
  • Score: 11

10:25pm Tue 11 Feb 14

sid_pleckgater says...

The meeting to discuss the 'failed Ofsted' report takes place this Thursday Feb 13th at 5.30pm in school. It is ESSENTIAL that as many parents as possible attend this meeting to ensure that your voice is heard. There will no doubt be an attempt to whitewash the outcomes of the report in terms of where the real responsibility for this disgraceful state of affairs lies ie the Local Authority and Headteacher.
The meeting to discuss the 'failed Ofsted' report takes place this Thursday Feb 13th at 5.30pm in school. It is ESSENTIAL that as many parents as possible attend this meeting to ensure that your voice is heard. There will no doubt be an attempt to whitewash the outcomes of the report in terms of where the real responsibility for this disgraceful state of affairs lies ie the Local Authority and Headteacher. sid_pleckgater
  • Score: 18

8:29am Wed 12 Feb 14

Pendle Bill says...

As a former teacher at Pleckgate, I am saddened to see the state of affairs prevalent at the school. Without making any attempt to apportion blame, I think that it is surely time that the local authority stepped in and began an urgent investigation into the running of the school. There can be no other sensible course of action. Failing that, expect a complete meltdown at Pleckgate.
As a former teacher at Pleckgate, I am saddened to see the state of affairs prevalent at the school. Without making any attempt to apportion blame, I think that it is surely time that the local authority stepped in and began an urgent investigation into the running of the school. There can be no other sensible course of action. Failing that, expect a complete meltdown at Pleckgate. Pendle Bill
  • Score: 16

9:14am Wed 12 Feb 14

f.p says...

Pleckgate school meeting at Pleckgate school on Thursday 13 february at 5.30 .
Support of parents ,future parents and all staff is essential if we have the school's and our childrens future at heart ,
As much support is required to resolve the worrying reports we are hearing, and for action to take course
Pleckgate school meeting at Pleckgate school on Thursday 13 february at 5.30 . Support of parents ,future parents and all staff is essential if we have the school's and our childrens future at heart , As much support is required to resolve the worrying reports we are hearing, and for action to take course f.p
  • Score: 20

9:47am Wed 12 Feb 14

GiftHorse says...

I know several teachers from Pleckgate and cannot believe the things that I am hearing. It really amounts to an absolute barrage of incidents of bullying and intimidation. OFSTED, the LEA and the teacher’s unions are not aware of the level and constant nature of this bullying, which must inevitably have a detrimental effect on pupils’ learning. Either that or they simply are refusing to intervene. Parents have a right to know what their children are witnessing every day and how this affects their learning.

Ms Ridgway seems to differentiate consistently and deliberately between existing staff and her own appointments. As part of her role, Ms Ridgway has observed various teachers‘ lessons. Several excellent staff (who were rated good or outstanding during the recent OFSTED) have been ‘failed’ (e.g. grade 4 inadequate) by Ms Ridgway. After observing some of these staff, Ms Ridgway doesn’t take the time to provide the teacher with feedback - the teachers are left waiting and eventually find out (from another source) that Ms Ridgway has ‘failed’ them. It has always been established practice that teachers should be given feedback within a maximum of 48 hours after being observed.
Pupils are asking their teachers what’s wrong when they can clearly see they are upset. Should schoolchildren have to witness this bullying?

One of the things that’s always struck me about Pleckgate is how well the existing teachers knew their pupils - it was a school where people enjoyed teaching and liked their pupils.

Be in no doubt about this - it is so wrong for OFSTED to implicitly blame the excellent teaching staff for the ‘corrosive atmosphere of distrust’ - this is not the case. Ms Ridgway has created this environment, in which everyone - except her own appointments and ‘buddies’ - feels under threat. It’s an appalling situation when pupils are wondering ‘Where has my teacher gone? We need our teachers back!”

Yes, Mr Murray and Mr Neilson are absent from school due to stress, following more of this intimidation and bullying. Let’s hope they’re back soon!

Two highly regarded members of the senior management team (Mr Ford and Mr Hamilton) were suspended last Friday. Funnily enough, Ms Ridgway had appointed two new deputy/assistant headteachers about 2 weeks ago, who have already taken over the tasks assigned to these two suspended SLT members. No reasons have been given, so that teachers and pupils are asking why this is happening and where all the staff are disappearing to.

It goes without saying that the impact on the pupils is massive. Pupils obviously need continuity and it is unthinkable that (especially) Year 10 and Year 11 classes will have to be assigned new teachers in the run-up to their exams, if this has not already happened.

Hopefully, the school’s highly committed parents will be able to push for this matter to be resolved as soon as possible. Please do be warned that Ms Ridgway has a reputation for lying and is likely to shift the blame onto the teachers yet again. She needs to be put on the spot and held accountable for her actions. Some pretty direct questions will have to be asked. She cannot be allowed to wriggle out of this yet again. Of course, she will likely trot out the old line of ‘changes are needed at Pleckgate, but the teachers won’t change’ - it’s her detrimental, negative and often ridiculous changes and bullying that are failing the school and, above all, its pupils.
I know several teachers from Pleckgate and cannot believe the things that I am hearing. It really amounts to an absolute barrage of incidents of bullying and intimidation. OFSTED, the LEA and the teacher’s unions are not aware of the level and constant nature of this bullying, which must inevitably have a detrimental effect on pupils’ learning. Either that or they simply are refusing to intervene. Parents have a right to know what their children are witnessing every day and how this affects their learning. Ms Ridgway seems to differentiate consistently and deliberately between existing staff and her own appointments. As part of her role, Ms Ridgway has observed various teachers‘ lessons. Several excellent staff (who were rated good or outstanding during the recent OFSTED) have been ‘failed’ (e.g. grade 4 inadequate) by Ms Ridgway. After observing some of these staff, Ms Ridgway doesn’t take the time to provide the teacher with feedback - the teachers are left waiting and eventually find out (from another source) that Ms Ridgway has ‘failed’ them. It has always been established practice that teachers should be given feedback within a maximum of 48 hours after being observed. Pupils are asking their teachers what’s wrong when they can clearly see they are upset. Should schoolchildren have to witness this bullying? One of the things that’s always struck me about Pleckgate is how well the existing teachers knew their pupils - it was a school where people enjoyed teaching and liked their pupils. Be in no doubt about this - it is so wrong for OFSTED to implicitly blame the excellent teaching staff for the ‘corrosive atmosphere of distrust’ - this is not the case. Ms Ridgway has created this environment, in which everyone - except her own appointments and ‘buddies’ - feels under threat. It’s an appalling situation when pupils are wondering ‘Where has my teacher gone? We need our teachers back!” Yes, Mr Murray and Mr Neilson are absent from school due to stress, following more of this intimidation and bullying. Let’s hope they’re back soon! Two highly regarded members of the senior management team (Mr Ford and Mr Hamilton) were suspended last Friday. Funnily enough, Ms Ridgway had appointed two new deputy/assistant headteachers about 2 weeks ago, who have already taken over the tasks assigned to these two suspended SLT members. No reasons have been given, so that teachers and pupils are asking why this is happening and where all the staff are disappearing to. It goes without saying that the impact on the pupils is massive. Pupils obviously need continuity and it is unthinkable that (especially) Year 10 and Year 11 classes will have to be assigned new teachers in the run-up to their exams, if this has not already happened. Hopefully, the school’s highly committed parents will be able to push for this matter to be resolved as soon as possible. Please do be warned that Ms Ridgway has a reputation for lying and is likely to shift the blame onto the teachers yet again. She needs to be put on the spot and held accountable for her actions. Some pretty direct questions will have to be asked. She cannot be allowed to wriggle out of this yet again. Of course, she will likely trot out the old line of ‘changes are needed at Pleckgate, but the teachers won’t change’ - it’s her detrimental, negative and often ridiculous changes and bullying that are failing the school and, above all, its pupils. GiftHorse
  • Score: 48

11:45am Wed 12 Feb 14

Renny78 says...

Article from The Guardian 'Secret teacher' entitled 'It's time to get shot of incompetent Heads' beautifully highlights the key issues at stake in Pleckgate High School over the last 16 months;
The phrase "for the good of the children" is one you find used frequently in education today in Britain. But the truth is that some headteachers use it as an excuse for intimidation, victimisation, bullying and as a tool to cause a teacher so much stress they leave the school, if not the profession.
There is another breed of headteacher out there.
The ambitious head, the Ofsted-pressured head, the head appointed who isn't really up to the multi-functional, all-encompassing role they have found themselves in. Many of these heads begin their careers with the right intentions; successful school, happy children, valued and involved staff. But then the change comes. What triggers this change? Culture/ethos/practi
ce not changing quickly enough? Budget pressures? Ofsted pressures? Damage to ego when challenged by junior staff?

In any event the result is the same:

• Workload is increased (for the good of the children)

• Criticism is unacceptable and warrants a rebuke (for the good of the children)

• Meetings become more frequent and/or longer (for the good of the children)

• Deadlines are vigorously enforced (for the good of the children)

• Cliques are formed and informers are employed (for the good of the children)

• Veiled threats are made regarding future prospects (for the good of the children)

• Observation and scrutiny frequency increases and feedback is increasingly negative (for the good of the children)

• Struggling and/or expensive older teachers are targeted for capability procedures (for the good of the children)

• During capability procedures, goalposts are moved and support is minimal. Criticism is frequent (for the good of the children)

• Opinions contrary to those of leadership are frowned upon, disparaged, laughed at (for the good of the children)

• A climate of fear becomes the norm. Staff members talk about those who have left and why and wonder who is next (for the good of the children).

Does this seem ridiculous? Impossible? Rare?

Unfortunately it's neither impossible nor rare. It's more common than you may like to imagine. Ridiculous? Yes, I agree. I agree it is ridiculous to have anti-bullying policies in schools where staff members are routinely bullied, intimidated and threatened. It's ridiculous that a headteacher can behave this way in the 21st century with virtual impunity.

Surely not, you say? Virtual impunity? Yes, virtual impunity. Who checks on headteachers? Ofsted? Do they? Do they really? Their visit is as carefully orchestrated as a Beethoven concerto. Staff members are warned about the consequences of going into a category of failing. Are teachers confidentially interviewed by Ofsted about their roles? No.

So who does check up on them? The local authority? Do they? Do they really? Local authorities do not inspect schools, drop in or survey teaching staff. They do not check up on headteachers. Why would they? There's nothing wrong.

So it's down to the governing body. But do they? Do they really? No, not as a matter of course. They attend governing body meetings after school where they talk to the head and senior leaders. They have arranged visits where everything can be set up beforehand and the head and senior leaders have given the staff members and children clear instructions and expectations. They get the party line from wary and subdued staff members. If something does eventually emerge, usually because of some form of industrial action, they are almost always "shocked," "flabbergasted" or "gobsmacked". They had no idea such a regime existed in their school – well, why would they?

So who checks on headteachers and how they manage their staff members on a regular, formal basis? No one. Why would they? In my experience, heads can (and do in many schools) intimidate, bully, harass and threaten staff on a daily basis with impunity, justifying it as being for the good of the children, until for some reason a union gets involved. But what if a union doesn't get involved?

As things stand, it will go on, day after day. Teachers will (and I speak from recent experience but not my own) cry themselves to sleep or over lunch or even in front of pupils, vomit on the way to work, take anti-depressants, drink to excess, resign.

Oh but they could speak up? To whom? Who would listen? What might the consequences be? Isn't it better to keep your head down and get on?

For the good of the children, they need hard-working, committed, dedicated, healthy, happy and confident teachers who feel secure, valued and appreciated. For the good of the children, they need teachers who want to get to work each day, who look forward to teaching, who get excited by the prospect of engaging in one of the most rewarding careers in the world.

Yet some are suffering in all of the ways described above, with no end in sight except on the day they leave or retire. And unless a system is established that rigorously inspects how teaching staff are managed, much deeper than Ofsted does, they will continue to suffer, barring some event that exposes what is going on.

That is Cherry Ridgway in a cocked hat. I am crying as I write this.
Article from The Guardian 'Secret teacher' entitled 'It's time to get shot of incompetent Heads' beautifully highlights the key issues at stake in Pleckgate High School over the last 16 months; The phrase "for the good of the children" is one you find used frequently in education today in Britain. But the truth is that some headteachers use it as an excuse for intimidation, victimisation, bullying and as a tool to cause a teacher so much stress they leave the school, if not the profession. There is another breed of headteacher out there. The ambitious head, the Ofsted-pressured head, the head appointed who isn't really up to the multi-functional, all-encompassing role they have found themselves in. Many of these heads begin their careers with the right intentions; successful school, happy children, valued and involved staff. But then the change comes. What triggers this change? Culture/ethos/practi ce not changing quickly enough? Budget pressures? Ofsted pressures? Damage to ego when challenged by junior staff? In any event the result is the same: • Workload is increased (for the good of the children) • Criticism is unacceptable and warrants a rebuke (for the good of the children) • Meetings become more frequent and/or longer (for the good of the children) • Deadlines are vigorously enforced (for the good of the children) • Cliques are formed and informers are employed (for the good of the children) • Veiled threats are made regarding future prospects (for the good of the children) • Observation and scrutiny frequency increases and feedback is increasingly negative (for the good of the children) • Struggling and/or expensive older teachers are targeted for capability procedures (for the good of the children) • During capability procedures, goalposts are moved and support is minimal. Criticism is frequent (for the good of the children) • Opinions contrary to those of leadership are frowned upon, disparaged, laughed at (for the good of the children) • A climate of fear becomes the norm. Staff members talk about those who have left and why and wonder who is next (for the good of the children). Does this seem ridiculous? Impossible? Rare? Unfortunately it's neither impossible nor rare. It's more common than you may like to imagine. Ridiculous? Yes, I agree. I agree it is ridiculous to have anti-bullying policies in schools where staff members are routinely bullied, intimidated and threatened. It's ridiculous that a headteacher can behave this way in the 21st century with virtual impunity. Surely not, you say? Virtual impunity? Yes, virtual impunity. Who checks on headteachers? Ofsted? Do they? Do they really? Their visit is as carefully orchestrated as a Beethoven concerto. Staff members are warned about the consequences of going into a category of failing. Are teachers confidentially interviewed by Ofsted about their roles? No. So who does check up on them? The local authority? Do they? Do they really? Local authorities do not inspect schools, drop in or survey teaching staff. They do not check up on headteachers. Why would they? There's nothing wrong. So it's down to the governing body. But do they? Do they really? No, not as a matter of course. They attend governing body meetings after school where they talk to the head and senior leaders. They have arranged visits where everything can be set up beforehand and the head and senior leaders have given the staff members and children clear instructions and expectations. They get the party line from wary and subdued staff members. If something does eventually emerge, usually because of some form of industrial action, they are almost always "shocked," "flabbergasted" or "gobsmacked". They had no idea such a regime existed in their school – well, why would they? So who checks on headteachers and how they manage their staff members on a regular, formal basis? No one. Why would they? In my experience, heads can (and do in many schools) intimidate, bully, harass and threaten staff on a daily basis with impunity, justifying it as being for the good of the children, until for some reason a union gets involved. But what if a union doesn't get involved? As things stand, it will go on, day after day. Teachers will (and I speak from recent experience but not my own) cry themselves to sleep or over lunch or even in front of pupils, vomit on the way to work, take anti-depressants, drink to excess, resign. Oh but they could speak up? To whom? Who would listen? What might the consequences be? Isn't it better to keep your head down and get on? For the good of the children, they need hard-working, committed, dedicated, healthy, happy and confident teachers who feel secure, valued and appreciated. For the good of the children, they need teachers who want to get to work each day, who look forward to teaching, who get excited by the prospect of engaging in one of the most rewarding careers in the world. Yet some are suffering in all of the ways described above, with no end in sight except on the day they leave or retire. And unless a system is established that rigorously inspects how teaching staff are managed, much deeper than Ofsted does, they will continue to suffer, barring some event that exposes what is going on. That is Cherry Ridgway in a cocked hat. I am crying as I write this. Renny78
  • Score: 38

12:09pm Wed 12 Feb 14

Renny78 says...

It has been reported to me that when Cherry first addressed the staff at Pleckgate (Sept 2012) she promised the staff hard times ahead. she boasted that she was so unpopular at a previous school the roof of her soft top sports car was slashed. She then joked that she wasn't sure who did it- staff or pupils!
Does this give us an insight into this woman's mind?
She is STILL appearing at tribunals from Collegiate staff she got "got rid off". This woman is not fit to hold a public office.
It has been reported to me that when Cherry first addressed the staff at Pleckgate (Sept 2012) she promised the staff hard times ahead. she boasted that she was so unpopular at a previous school the roof of her soft top sports car was slashed. She then joked that she wasn't sure who did it- staff or pupils! Does this give us an insight into this woman's mind? She is STILL appearing at tribunals from Collegiate staff she got "got rid off". This woman is not fit to hold a public office. Renny78
  • Score: 31

12:20pm Wed 12 Feb 14

smithillschap says...

I am a former pupil and it is disappointing to see the school now in special measures.

Surely an independent investigation is required into the matter? So many former teachers (and now the former headmaster) some of whom taught at the school when I attended in the 80s have commented on this issue. Who are we going to believe? A head who has been there less than 2 years, or teaching staff who have cared for this school and its pupils for years and decades?

If the school was good when the current Head took over, why was such disruption required in the first place?

It was alleged yesterday that the current head had a personal interest into the supply of IT equipment (ipads) to the school. I presume this could not be the case as I understand that all teaching staff must sign annually that they have no personal interest whatsoever in any commercial contracts that the school enters into.
I am a former pupil and it is disappointing to see the school now in special measures. Surely an independent investigation is required into the matter? So many former teachers (and now the former headmaster) some of whom taught at the school when I attended in the 80s have commented on this issue. Who are we going to believe? A head who has been there less than 2 years, or teaching staff who have cared for this school and its pupils for years and decades? If the school was good when the current Head took over, why was such disruption required in the first place? It was alleged yesterday that the current head had a personal interest into the supply of IT equipment (ipads) to the school. I presume this could not be the case as I understand that all teaching staff must sign annually that they have no personal interest whatsoever in any commercial contracts that the school enters into. smithillschap
  • Score: 27

3:41pm Wed 12 Feb 14

Artiefrancie says...

I feel that I must add my comments to this site. I care about the school, the staff and the pupils. Something that I don't believe the current head can say hand on heart. Interesting that the current Pleckgate newsletter on the website at this high tech school is almost three terms out of date. I suspect that the parent satisfaction results are just as out of date if not older. How about an update? Perhaps it is one rule for the pupils and ......

Also, I notice that the current damning Ofsted report is not there either. Instead the previous one, from 2 years ago, is still shown as the latest. The one which was hard earned by a dedicated staff and happy pupils. Surely in such a high tech environment it should be easy to update these and show the truth of the moment?

Action must be taken. Blackburn with Darwen must "man up" They are becoming a laughing stock! So must the Unions. Politicians must follow their instincts and not just the party line. This is too important to ignore.
I feel that I must add my comments to this site. I care about the school, the staff and the pupils. Something that I don't believe the current head can say hand on heart. Interesting that the current Pleckgate newsletter on the website at this high tech school is almost three terms out of date. I suspect that the parent satisfaction results are just as out of date if not older. How about an update? Perhaps it is one rule for the pupils and ...... Also, I notice that the current damning Ofsted report is not there either. Instead the previous one, from 2 years ago, is still shown as the latest. The one which was hard earned by a dedicated staff and happy pupils. Surely in such a high tech environment it should be easy to update these and show the truth of the moment? Action must be taken. Blackburn with Darwen must "man up" They are becoming a laughing stock! So must the Unions. Politicians must follow their instincts and not just the party line. This is too important to ignore. Artiefrancie
  • Score: 21

4:49pm Wed 12 Feb 14

PowerCorruptionAndLies says...

Just because you have a pecuniary interest in something, it doesn't mean you have to register it. Wink.

The NUT and NASUWT were called into Pleckgate before the end of 2012. There was a joint meeting where they promised the earth, said they were fully aware of Ms Ridgway's modus operandi from her time in Blackpool and Lytham, and that it would be sorted. Numerous members of staff shed tears of relief, which have since turned into tears of frustration/desperat
ion.

Meeting the NUT rep is akin to being savaged by a dead sheep, such is his need to maintain neutrality. The NASUWT rep is about as trustworthy as Ms Ridgway, due to her disclosure of confidential staff comments to Ms Ridgway. One can only speculate as to why the union reps continue to let down those who pay to keep them in employment.
Just because you have a pecuniary interest in something, it doesn't mean you have to register it. Wink. The NUT and NASUWT were called into Pleckgate before the end of 2012. There was a joint meeting where they promised the earth, said they were fully aware of Ms Ridgway's modus operandi from her time in Blackpool and Lytham, and that it would be sorted. Numerous members of staff shed tears of relief, which have since turned into tears of frustration/desperat ion. Meeting the NUT rep is akin to being savaged by a dead sheep, such is his need to maintain neutrality. The NASUWT rep is about as trustworthy as Ms Ridgway, due to her disclosure of confidential staff comments to Ms Ridgway. One can only speculate as to why the union reps continue to let down those who pay to keep them in employment. PowerCorruptionAndLies
  • Score: 28

6:15pm Wed 12 Feb 14

Whyisit? says...

The Unions are not fit for purpose. They seem only too keen to rally when fighting a national governmental/politic
al cause (on behalf of the likes of Jack Straw). When it comes to looking after the individual workers, well, it's pretty clear that its far too difficult for them. Don't waste your money.
The Unions are not fit for purpose. They seem only too keen to rally when fighting a national governmental/politic al cause (on behalf of the likes of Jack Straw). When it comes to looking after the individual workers, well, it's pretty clear that its far too difficult for them. Don't waste your money. Whyisit?
  • Score: 13

6:18pm Wed 12 Feb 14

Ex teacher says...

As regards the Union involvement in Pleckgate, I have had conversations with ta national executive member on a couple of occasions and he has stated that no one has complained to him so there can' t be a problem.
What he has singularly failed to realise, and in the light of what has happened is that no one dare make a formal complaint because of fear of reprisals from Ms Ridgway!
The unions have been singularly remiss in dealing with their members problems, at Pleckgate they have let them down so much so that members have turned to other sources of help.
I must also say that I am not allowed to visit the school where I taught for 20 years!
As regards the Union involvement in Pleckgate, I have had conversations with ta national executive member on a couple of occasions and he has stated that no one has complained to him so there can' t be a problem. What he has singularly failed to realise, and in the light of what has happened is that no one dare make a formal complaint because of fear of reprisals from Ms Ridgway! The unions have been singularly remiss in dealing with their members problems, at Pleckgate they have let them down so much so that members have turned to other sources of help. I must also say that I am not allowed to visit the school where I taught for 20 years! Ex teacher
  • Score: 24

7:09pm Wed 12 Feb 14

PowerCorruptionAndLies says...

What also needs to be mentioned is the devasting effect Ms Ridgway's regime is having on the education of Pleckgate's pupils.

Both the current year 9 and year 10 commenced their GCSE (and similar level 2 courses - no level 1 courses allowed irrespective of ability) studies this year. Instead of offering subjects based upon being able to staff the classes, both year groups chose their options BEFORE staffing was allocated. Consequently, pupils are being taught many of their Key Stage 4 lessons by an assortment of non-specialists; the exact opposite of what is essential at this educational level. Even now, there are the type of glitches in the timetable you would expect to be rectified within the first week of September.

Experienced teachers, many of whom have clocked up well over a decade of service at Pleckgate, are leaving in droves. A conveyor belt of inexperienced (i.e. cheap) teachers and supply teachers has replaced them. More of both will be needed to replace those members of the current staff working on their escape plans. Other established, competent staff have pushed out through stress and suspension. They are replaced by imports from the seaside. How can quality education be delivered and thrive in such an environment?

I cannot comprehend how Ms Ridgway feels justified in stating she has the pupils' best interests at heart. The antithesis appears to be the case.
What also needs to be mentioned is the devasting effect Ms Ridgway's regime is having on the education of Pleckgate's pupils. Both the current year 9 and year 10 commenced their GCSE (and similar level 2 courses - no level 1 courses allowed irrespective of ability) studies this year. Instead of offering subjects based upon being able to staff the classes, both year groups chose their options BEFORE staffing was allocated. Consequently, pupils are being taught many of their Key Stage 4 lessons by an assortment of non-specialists; the exact opposite of what is essential at this educational level. Even now, there are the type of glitches in the timetable you would expect to be rectified within the first week of September. Experienced teachers, many of whom have clocked up well over a decade of service at Pleckgate, are leaving in droves. A conveyor belt of inexperienced (i.e. cheap) teachers and supply teachers has replaced them. More of both will be needed to replace those members of the current staff working on their escape plans. Other established, competent staff have pushed out through stress and suspension. They are replaced by imports from the seaside. How can quality education be delivered and thrive in such an environment? I cannot comprehend how Ms Ridgway feels justified in stating she has the pupils' best interests at heart. The antithesis appears to be the case. PowerCorruptionAndLies
  • Score: 24

7:33pm Wed 12 Feb 14

Birtrumthegreat says...

Just read the comments on this. Blackburn and Darwen need to act quickly:
http://www.change.or
g/en-GB/petitions/ja
ck-straw-investigati
on-into-leadership-o
f-cherry-ridgway-at-
pleckgate-high-schoo
l?share_id=ndLVXQaCO
R&utm_campaign=autop
ublish&utm_medium=fa
cebook&utm_source=sh
are_petition
Just read the comments on this. Blackburn and Darwen need to act quickly: http://www.change.or g/en-GB/petitions/ja ck-straw-investigati on-into-leadership-o f-cherry-ridgway-at- pleckgate-high-schoo l?share_id=ndLVXQaCO R&utm_campaign=autop ublish&utm_medium=fa cebook&utm_source=sh are_petition Birtrumthegreat
  • Score: 7

7:58pm Wed 12 Feb 14

sam103 says...

The woman is a LIAR; plain and simple. Good, decent, hard-working staff have either been suspended for no apparent reason or are being bullied out of their jobs. She has blackmailed staff into spying on other members of staff to hopefully find fault and then dismiss them too. It is obscene that in this day and age, people like her are allowed top positions in education and are failing our children and causing many members of staff to have breakdowns. The authority has failed Pleckgate and are too scared to admit it. It's about time something was done NOW in the hope that something can be salvaged from her mess. Get her out NOW!
The woman is a LIAR; plain and simple. Good, decent, hard-working staff have either been suspended for no apparent reason or are being bullied out of their jobs. She has blackmailed staff into spying on other members of staff to hopefully find fault and then dismiss them too. It is obscene that in this day and age, people like her are allowed top positions in education and are failing our children and causing many members of staff to have breakdowns. The authority has failed Pleckgate and are too scared to admit it. It's about time something was done NOW in the hope that something can be salvaged from her mess. Get her out NOW! sam103
  • Score: 21

9:13pm Wed 12 Feb 14

whatishappening? says...

Parents – how do you think tomorrow’s meeting will go? Let me tell you. Cherry is forcing several teachers to read out statements written by her, just as she forced the senior leadership to apologise to all the staff following ofsted. She has even drafted in the head of maths and head of science for added ‘muscle’. They’re being forced to say exactly what she tells them - no doubt about how great she is, what a mess the school was in when she arrived and how ofsted agreed with everything she has done. Of course, out of fear for their jobs they’ll all do as they are told. So parents, demand Cherry, not her scapegoats. You see Cherry, you are not the only one with eyes and ears everywhere.
Parents – how do you think tomorrow’s meeting will go? Let me tell you. Cherry is forcing several teachers to read out statements written by her, just as she forced the senior leadership to apologise to all the staff following ofsted. She has even drafted in the head of maths and head of science for added ‘muscle’. They’re being forced to say exactly what she tells them - no doubt about how great she is, what a mess the school was in when she arrived and how ofsted agreed with everything she has done. Of course, out of fear for their jobs they’ll all do as they are told. So parents, demand Cherry, not her scapegoats. You see Cherry, you are not the only one with eyes and ears everywhere. whatishappening?
  • Score: 22

9:33pm Wed 12 Feb 14

GiftHorse says...

whatishappening? wrote:
Parents – how do you think tomorrow’s meeting will go? Let me tell you. Cherry is forcing several teachers to read out statements written by her, just as she forced the senior leadership to apologise to all the staff following ofsted. She has even drafted in the head of maths and head of science for added ‘muscle’. They’re being forced to say exactly what she tells them - no doubt about how great she is, what a mess the school was in when she arrived and how ofsted agreed with everything she has done. Of course, out of fear for their jobs they’ll all do as they are told. So parents, demand Cherry, not her scapegoats. You see Cherry, you are not the only one with eyes and ears everywhere.
This is very useful to know. Cherry Ridgway did exactly the same thing on the day after the OFSTED inspection - she coerced members of the management team to read out statements to the staff. No doubt tomorrow she will attempt to throw the parents off the scent by stage-managing the whole thing. She will do everything to try and make it a real PROPAGANDA exercise. She needs to explain why she is bullying her staff, pupils and therefore also giving parents a raw deal too. She's the one that needs to account for herself and not her staff! Please could people spread the word about this (possibly via Change.org) - so that all parents attending the meeting will be prepared. Otherwise, CR will be doing all she can to cheat, trick and lie to them!
[quote][p][bold]whatishappening?[/bold] wrote: Parents – how do you think tomorrow’s meeting will go? Let me tell you. Cherry is forcing several teachers to read out statements written by her, just as she forced the senior leadership to apologise to all the staff following ofsted. She has even drafted in the head of maths and head of science for added ‘muscle’. They’re being forced to say exactly what she tells them - no doubt about how great she is, what a mess the school was in when she arrived and how ofsted agreed with everything she has done. Of course, out of fear for their jobs they’ll all do as they are told. So parents, demand Cherry, not her scapegoats. You see Cherry, you are not the only one with eyes and ears everywhere.[/p][/quote]This is very useful to know. Cherry Ridgway did exactly the same thing on the day after the OFSTED inspection - she coerced members of the management team to read out statements to the staff. No doubt tomorrow she will attempt to throw the parents off the scent by stage-managing the whole thing. She will do everything to try and make it a real PROPAGANDA exercise. She needs to explain why she is bullying her staff, pupils and therefore also giving parents a raw deal too. She's the one that needs to account for herself and not her staff! Please could people spread the word about this (possibly via Change.org) - so that all parents attending the meeting will be prepared. Otherwise, CR will be doing all she can to cheat, trick and lie to them! GiftHorse
  • Score: 19

9:33pm Wed 12 Feb 14

PowerCorruptionAndLies says...

Ms Ridgway and the (new) head of maths are apparently "acqaintances" outside school. Interesting.

I don't think the same can be said for the head of science.

Parents: Only answers given by Ms Ridgway should be listened to. Whether you chose to accept/believe anything she says is up to you.
Ms Ridgway and the (new) head of maths are apparently "acqaintances" outside school. Interesting. I don't think the same can be said for the head of science. Parents: Only answers given by Ms Ridgway should be listened to. Whether you chose to accept/believe anything she says is up to you. PowerCorruptionAndLies
  • Score: 19

9:35pm Wed 12 Feb 14

PowerCorruptionAndLies says...

chOose...
chOose... PowerCorruptionAndLies
  • Score: 6

11:13pm Wed 12 Feb 14

pleckgatefamily says...

The majority of the new staff are all acquaintances and previous work colleagues. The head of maths got the job despite being off ill for nearly 2 years at her previous place and not having any recent experience in a classroom. She is a science teacher, not a , maths teacher at all. The person she employed as MIS manager was a mentor at Collegiate. He has no experience of exams or data. He can barely use Sims. He had to be taught how to add columns onto marksheets and how to export them. The school is paying to train him to do his job despite paying him the top of the scale. It is amazing managed to complete the tasks at the interview that were about targets etc because he had to ask after starting work how targets can be worked out for new year 7 students. Could this be because Cherry set the tasks and the answers were left on her desk while he was waiting in her office. She chose this person over the person who had great expertise and had been doing the job brilliantly for the past 5 years. It's no wonder that the timetables are wrong even though he has been working on them since last march. For IT development she employs another person from Collegiate who the school is paying to attend college 1 day a week. This person chosen yet again over someone who was qualified and experienced. She appointed a person to be Business Manager who has no previous experience of a secondary school as he comes from a primary school. The school has to pay an accountant to come in and manage things that Mr Business Manager does not understand. Again this person was chosen over someone who was already covering the job for the past 2 years, and was doing it well.

I was present in the initial meeting Cherry held with all staff and the unions. All I can say is that Simon Jones was dripping with slime and it was surprising he could breathe inside Cherry's pocket. We were not represented in any way. We were let down very badly and the unions made her more powerful. After all the years of paying the unions, this is the protection they give. It is a disgrace! Action should be taken against unions for not doing their job.

Working in an environment where you are bullied and threatened spyed on all the time was horrendous. I was lucky enough to get out but I feel for all the other members of my Pleckgate family who are still suffering. She should be held criminally responsible for victimisation, bullying, harrassment and for ruining the lives of so many of the staff and pupils. My heart goes out to the students in years 10 and 11 whose GCSE grades will be affected. It is their future that is being destroyed. They will not be given any special consideration or sympathy when pursuing further studies or careers. The staff she is harming should be compensated for for all their suffering. Will the staff that has been forced to leave be able to return?

It is a very sad state of affairs when after all this pain and destruction even Mr Jack Straw says he can't do anything. What is the point of voting for an MP who will not protect 1200 families who are in his constituency. Everybody that is in a position to take action is behaving selfishly and irresponsibly and in the meantime 1275 innocent children and over 150 members of staff are suffering. PLEASE SOMEONE DO SOMETHING! Enough is enough!
The majority of the new staff are all acquaintances and previous work colleagues. The head of maths got the job despite being off ill for nearly 2 years at her previous place and not having any recent experience in a classroom. She is a science teacher, not a , maths teacher at all. The person she employed as MIS manager was a mentor at Collegiate. He has no experience of exams or data. He can barely use Sims. He had to be taught how to add columns onto marksheets and how to export them. The school is paying to train him to do his job despite paying him the top of the scale. It is amazing managed to complete the tasks at the interview that were about targets etc because he had to ask after starting work how targets can be worked out for new year 7 students. Could this be because Cherry set the tasks and the answers were left on her desk while he was waiting in her office. She chose this person over the person who had great expertise and had been doing the job brilliantly for the past 5 years. It's no wonder that the timetables are wrong even though he has been working on them since last march. For IT development she employs another person from Collegiate who the school is paying to attend college 1 day a week. This person chosen yet again over someone who was qualified and experienced. She appointed a person to be Business Manager who has no previous experience of a secondary school as he comes from a primary school. The school has to pay an accountant to come in and manage things that Mr Business Manager does not understand. Again this person was chosen over someone who was already covering the job for the past 2 years, and was doing it well. I was present in the initial meeting Cherry held with all staff and the unions. All I can say is that Simon Jones was dripping with slime and it was surprising he could breathe inside Cherry's pocket. We were not represented in any way. We were let down very badly and the unions made her more powerful. After all the years of paying the unions, this is the protection they give. It is a disgrace! Action should be taken against unions for not doing their job. Working in an environment where you are bullied and threatened spyed on all the time was horrendous. I was lucky enough to get out but I feel for all the other members of my Pleckgate family who are still suffering. She should be held criminally responsible for victimisation, bullying, harrassment and for ruining the lives of so many of the staff and pupils. My heart goes out to the students in years 10 and 11 whose GCSE grades will be affected. It is their future that is being destroyed. They will not be given any special consideration or sympathy when pursuing further studies or careers. The staff she is harming should be compensated for for all their suffering. Will the staff that has been forced to leave be able to return? It is a very sad state of affairs when after all this pain and destruction even Mr Jack Straw says he can't do anything. What is the point of voting for an MP who will not protect 1200 families who are in his constituency. Everybody that is in a position to take action is behaving selfishly and irresponsibly and in the meantime 1275 innocent children and over 150 members of staff are suffering. PLEASE SOMEONE DO SOMETHING! Enough is enough! pleckgatefamily
  • Score: 33

6:54am Thu 13 Feb 14

sam103 says...

We'll said 'Pleckgatefamily'
A few home truths there
We'll said 'Pleckgatefamily' A few home truths there sam103
  • Score: 12

7:05am Thu 13 Feb 14

GiftHorse says...

pleckgatefamily wrote:
The majority of the new staff are all acquaintances and previous work colleagues. The head of maths got the job despite being off ill for nearly 2 years at her previous place and not having any recent experience in a classroom. She is a science teacher, not a , maths teacher at all. The person she employed as MIS manager was a mentor at Collegiate. He has no experience of exams or data. He can barely use Sims. He had to be taught how to add columns onto marksheets and how to export them. The school is paying to train him to do his job despite paying him the top of the scale. It is amazing managed to complete the tasks at the interview that were about targets etc because he had to ask after starting work how targets can be worked out for new year 7 students. Could this be because Cherry set the tasks and the answers were left on her desk while he was waiting in her office. She chose this person over the person who had great expertise and had been doing the job brilliantly for the past 5 years. It's no wonder that the timetables are wrong even though he has been working on them since last march. For IT development she employs another person from Collegiate who the school is paying to attend college 1 day a week. This person chosen yet again over someone who was qualified and experienced. She appointed a person to be Business Manager who has no previous experience of a secondary school as he comes from a primary school. The school has to pay an accountant to come in and manage things that Mr Business Manager does not understand. Again this person was chosen over someone who was already covering the job for the past 2 years, and was doing it well.

I was present in the initial meeting Cherry held with all staff and the unions. All I can say is that Simon Jones was dripping with slime and it was surprising he could breathe inside Cherry's pocket. We were not represented in any way. We were let down very badly and the unions made her more powerful. After all the years of paying the unions, this is the protection they give. It is a disgrace! Action should be taken against unions for not doing their job.

Working in an environment where you are bullied and threatened spyed on all the time was horrendous. I was lucky enough to get out but I feel for all the other members of my Pleckgate family who are still suffering. She should be held criminally responsible for victimisation, bullying, harrassment and for ruining the lives of so many of the staff and pupils. My heart goes out to the students in years 10 and 11 whose GCSE grades will be affected. It is their future that is being destroyed. They will not be given any special consideration or sympathy when pursuing further studies or careers. The staff she is harming should be compensated for for all their suffering. Will the staff that has been forced to leave be able to return?

It is a very sad state of affairs when after all this pain and destruction even Mr Jack Straw says he can't do anything. What is the point of voting for an MP who will not protect 1200 families who are in his constituency. Everybody that is in a position to take action is behaving selfishly and irresponsibly and in the meantime 1275 innocent children and over 150 members of staff are suffering. PLEASE SOMEONE DO SOMETHING! Enough is enough!
All of this is so true and extremely well put. This is the reality of the situation.

Oh and I'm also reliably informed that they're still having problems with the school timetable (in February!) because she appointed someone that doesn't have the necessary experience and expertise (as stated above).

What else is she planning for tonight's meeting? Will Simon Jones be there backing her again?

Please remember that all the 'spin' and propaganda are just that. The reality is that she is victimising her staff and ruining the pupils' educations.

Another deputy head will be off school (since yesterday) due to stress until this Friday. Let's hope all these teachers take matters further and take her to every tribunal that they can!

Even better how about BwD just get on with it and offer her that nice, fat 6-figure sum to resign. She's not going to go of her own accord. RC needs to be shown the door.
[quote][p][bold]pleckgatefamily[/bold] wrote: The majority of the new staff are all acquaintances and previous work colleagues. The head of maths got the job despite being off ill for nearly 2 years at her previous place and not having any recent experience in a classroom. She is a science teacher, not a , maths teacher at all. The person she employed as MIS manager was a mentor at Collegiate. He has no experience of exams or data. He can barely use Sims. He had to be taught how to add columns onto marksheets and how to export them. The school is paying to train him to do his job despite paying him the top of the scale. It is amazing managed to complete the tasks at the interview that were about targets etc because he had to ask after starting work how targets can be worked out for new year 7 students. Could this be because Cherry set the tasks and the answers were left on her desk while he was waiting in her office. She chose this person over the person who had great expertise and had been doing the job brilliantly for the past 5 years. It's no wonder that the timetables are wrong even though he has been working on them since last march. For IT development she employs another person from Collegiate who the school is paying to attend college 1 day a week. This person chosen yet again over someone who was qualified and experienced. She appointed a person to be Business Manager who has no previous experience of a secondary school as he comes from a primary school. The school has to pay an accountant to come in and manage things that Mr Business Manager does not understand. Again this person was chosen over someone who was already covering the job for the past 2 years, and was doing it well. I was present in the initial meeting Cherry held with all staff and the unions. All I can say is that Simon Jones was dripping with slime and it was surprising he could breathe inside Cherry's pocket. We were not represented in any way. We were let down very badly and the unions made her more powerful. After all the years of paying the unions, this is the protection they give. It is a disgrace! Action should be taken against unions for not doing their job. Working in an environment where you are bullied and threatened spyed on all the time was horrendous. I was lucky enough to get out but I feel for all the other members of my Pleckgate family who are still suffering. She should be held criminally responsible for victimisation, bullying, harrassment and for ruining the lives of so many of the staff and pupils. My heart goes out to the students in years 10 and 11 whose GCSE grades will be affected. It is their future that is being destroyed. They will not be given any special consideration or sympathy when pursuing further studies or careers. The staff she is harming should be compensated for for all their suffering. Will the staff that has been forced to leave be able to return? It is a very sad state of affairs when after all this pain and destruction even Mr Jack Straw says he can't do anything. What is the point of voting for an MP who will not protect 1200 families who are in his constituency. Everybody that is in a position to take action is behaving selfishly and irresponsibly and in the meantime 1275 innocent children and over 150 members of staff are suffering. PLEASE SOMEONE DO SOMETHING! Enough is enough![/p][/quote]All of this is so true and extremely well put. This is the reality of the situation. Oh and I'm also reliably informed that they're still having problems with the school timetable (in February!) because she appointed someone that doesn't have the necessary experience and expertise (as stated above). What else is she planning for tonight's meeting? Will Simon Jones be there backing her again? Please remember that all the 'spin' and propaganda are just that. The reality is that she is victimising her staff and ruining the pupils' educations. Another deputy head will be off school (since yesterday) due to stress until this Friday. Let's hope all these teachers take matters further and take her to every tribunal that they can! Even better how about BwD just get on with it and offer her that nice, fat 6-figure sum to resign. She's not going to go of her own accord. RC needs to be shown the door. GiftHorse
  • Score: 16

8:53am Thu 13 Feb 14

voice of reason10 says...

Thank you to all the posters for exposing her cronyism - it is staggering to think that she has got away with all this. There is a chink of an opportunity to get rid of this disgrace of a Head Teacher. She will no doubt cry a little at this meeting, and I am sure she will be contrite and apologetic - she may well accept some blame.
These will be crocodile tears though.

Keep the good people who have had to leave the school in your minds though, the people she has hounded out, the people she has unfairly dismissed and the people she is putting pressure on to 'support' her, and the people she has put out on 'indefinite' leave.

This woman has form, this woman has a history, this woman has a trail of destruction that can be traced right back to Lytham St Annes where, when she was Deputy Head, the Headteacher and the whole of the SLT had to close ranks to 'persuade' her to leave, calling her 'bonkers' and where the term 'megalomaniac' was applied by a letter from a number of parents. Without the parents standing firm there, she might never have been persuaded to leave - so we look to the good parents of Pleckgate to do their job tonight.

I have always tried to be the voice of reason, and I have tried to give this woman some credit, however, she must be removed from Pleckgate and her, lets face it, ludicrous and incompetent, recent appointments, should be overturned. Some of the friends she brought from Collegiate are a waste of space - don't forget that Collegiate High School is so good that it is shutting down and merging with another school!

I feel desperately sorry that this wonderful school with quite wonderful pupils has become some internet forum for people to expose this scandal. I worked in this school and it was the happiest time of my working life. As soon as this Head Teacher arrived it was clear that she was incompetent - she brought all her 'answers' from Collegiate and applied them to Pleckgate, yet Collegiate was a school in special measures and wanting to get to Good, Pleckgate was already a Good with outstanding school wanting to move on a little to Outstanding. She did not know how to make that small step. She does not know educational theory and practice, she does not know educational management techniques, she does not understand or appreciate children and the relationships which were there at Pleckgate. She did not take time to understand Pleckgate, she simply saw it as another Collegiate. So instead of moving the school from Good with Outstanding features (which it was) she has moved it to down to Special Measures. She did that. Not the staff, not the pupils, not the parents.She did that.

Her, and her friends from Collegiate. She not only brought her 'techniques' she learned at a course one day, she also brought with her the failing staff members from Collegiate. The ones who knew the school was closing and needed alternative jobs. She did that.

At the first staff meeting, Ms Ridgway said that she wanted Pleckgate to be good enough for her daughter to attend. The implication was that it wasn't good enough yet for her daughter to attend, and she would have to fix it so that it would be. After 2 years in charge she has destroyed the very heart and soul of the school. Pleckgate had an ethos, it had a heart. It WAS family. She has destroyed that.

Is it good enough for YOUR daughter, your son to be at whilst she is in control? This is what you should think about when you question her tonight. Presumably she would not send her own child to the school now - why should you send yours?
Thank you to all the posters for exposing her cronyism - it is staggering to think that she has got away with all this. There is a chink of an opportunity to get rid of this disgrace of a Head Teacher. She will no doubt cry a little at this meeting, and I am sure she will be contrite and apologetic - she may well accept some blame. These will be crocodile tears though. Keep the good people who have had to leave the school in your minds though, the people she has hounded out, the people she has unfairly dismissed and the people she is putting pressure on to 'support' her, and the people she has put out on 'indefinite' leave. This woman has form, this woman has a history, this woman has a trail of destruction that can be traced right back to Lytham St Annes where, when she was Deputy Head, the Headteacher and the whole of the SLT had to close ranks to 'persuade' her to leave, calling her 'bonkers' and where the term 'megalomaniac' was applied by a letter from a number of parents. Without the parents standing firm there, she might never have been persuaded to leave - so we look to the good parents of Pleckgate to do their job tonight. I have always tried to be the voice of reason, and I have tried to give this woman some credit, however, she must be removed from Pleckgate and her, lets face it, ludicrous and incompetent, recent appointments, should be overturned. Some of the friends she brought from Collegiate are a waste of space - don't forget that Collegiate High School is so good that it is shutting down and merging with another school! I feel desperately sorry that this wonderful school with quite wonderful pupils has become some internet forum for people to expose this scandal. I worked in this school and it was the happiest time of my working life. As soon as this Head Teacher arrived it was clear that she was incompetent - she brought all her 'answers' from Collegiate and applied them to Pleckgate, yet Collegiate was a school in special measures and wanting to get to Good, Pleckgate was already a Good with outstanding school wanting to move on a little to Outstanding. She did not know how to make that small step. She does not know educational theory and practice, she does not know educational management techniques, she does not understand or appreciate children and the relationships which were there at Pleckgate. She did not take time to understand Pleckgate, she simply saw it as another Collegiate. So instead of moving the school from Good with Outstanding features (which it was) she has moved it to down to Special Measures. She did that. Not the staff, not the pupils, not the parents.She did that. Her, and her friends from Collegiate. She not only brought her 'techniques' she learned at a course one day, she also brought with her the failing staff members from Collegiate. The ones who knew the school was closing and needed alternative jobs. She did that. At the first staff meeting, Ms Ridgway said that she wanted Pleckgate to be good enough for her daughter to attend. The implication was that it wasn't good enough yet for her daughter to attend, and she would have to fix it so that it would be. After 2 years in charge she has destroyed the very heart and soul of the school. Pleckgate had an ethos, it had a heart. It WAS family. She has destroyed that. Is it good enough for YOUR daughter, your son to be at whilst she is in control? This is what you should think about when you question her tonight. Presumably she would not send her own child to the school now - why should you send yours? voice of reason10
  • Score: 25

9:04am Thu 13 Feb 14

f.p says...

Seems like PROFRSSOR UMBRIDGE from Harry
Potter has taken control of Pleckgate , let's hope harry potters in the audience tonight to work his magic.
Seems like PROFRSSOR UMBRIDGE from Harry Potter has taken control of Pleckgate , let's hope harry potters in the audience tonight to work his magic. f.p
  • Score: 7

9:36am Thu 13 Feb 14

Secondchild says...

Sir Michael Wilshaw (Head of Ofsted) told The Commons Education Select Committee this week that "The quality of a school stems from the person in charge". Since all the evidence indicates that Pleckgate has declined at an unprecedented rate, since Ms Ridgway took office, then we need look no further for who should take responsibility for this terrible situation. The time has come for Ridgway to accept responsibility for her abject failure and do the decent thing and resign. No longer is it acceptable to try to deflect the blame to the teachers who have performed so well over the years and who have demonstrated they have the best interest of the children and the school at heart.
Sir Michael Wilshaw (Head of Ofsted) told The Commons Education Select Committee this week that "The quality of a school stems from the person in charge". Since all the evidence indicates that Pleckgate has declined at an unprecedented rate, since Ms Ridgway took office, then we need look no further for who should take responsibility for this terrible situation. The time has come for Ridgway to accept responsibility for her abject failure and do the decent thing and resign. No longer is it acceptable to try to deflect the blame to the teachers who have performed so well over the years and who have demonstrated they have the best interest of the children and the school at heart. Secondchild
  • Score: 24

1:15pm Thu 13 Feb 14

f.p says...

It has come to attention that at tonight's meeting parents will not be all seated in one main hall but be directed into separate rooms .
This is so that the impact of the meeting is watered down
If this is the case then it is advisable that we as parents should refuse to be seated separately .
We need for cherry ridgeway to answer the questions and not the rest of the staff who are either under duress or are members of ridgeways team .
So please demand to be seated together .
It has come to attention that at tonight's meeting parents will not be all seated in one main hall but be directed into separate rooms . This is so that the impact of the meeting is watered down If this is the case then it is advisable that we as parents should refuse to be seated separately . We need for cherry ridgeway to answer the questions and not the rest of the staff who are either under duress or are members of ridgeways team . So please demand to be seated together . f.p
  • Score: 17

1:45pm Thu 13 Feb 14

GiftHorse says...

f.p wrote:
It has come to attention that at tonight's meeting parents will not be all seated in one main hall but be directed into separate rooms .
This is so that the impact of the meeting is watered down
If this is the case then it is advisable that we as parents should refuse to be seated separately .
We need for cherry ridgeway to answer the questions and not the rest of the staff who are either under duress or are members of ridgeways team .
So please demand to be seated together .
Please can I underline and support this comment.

I would suggest and ask that parents simply walk into the main hall and refuse to be shown to classrooms in groups.

If anyone can spread the word to parents taking the time to attend this meeting, that would be excellent.
[quote][p][bold]f.p[/bold] wrote: It has come to attention that at tonight's meeting parents will not be all seated in one main hall but be directed into separate rooms . This is so that the impact of the meeting is watered down If this is the case then it is advisable that we as parents should refuse to be seated separately . We need for cherry ridgeway to answer the questions and not the rest of the staff who are either under duress or are members of ridgeways team . So please demand to be seated together .[/p][/quote]Please can I underline and support this comment. I would suggest and ask that parents simply walk into the main hall and refuse to be shown to classrooms in groups. If anyone can spread the word to parents taking the time to attend this meeting, that would be excellent. GiftHorse
  • Score: 19

1:51pm Thu 13 Feb 14

voice of reason10 says...

How manipulative and deceitful this woman is. Why do this if not to obfuscate or divert attention?
This shows she is prepared to do anything to save herself.
How sad.
How manipulative and deceitful this woman is. Why do this if not to obfuscate or divert attention? This shows she is prepared to do anything to save herself. How sad. voice of reason10
  • Score: 15

3:05pm Thu 13 Feb 14

GiftHorse says...

I've just heard that the meeting has now been cancelled and Ms Ridgway will be absent from school for an extended period….
I've just heard that the meeting has now been cancelled and Ms Ridgway will be absent from school for an extended period…. GiftHorse
  • Score: 15

3:35pm Thu 13 Feb 14

mylittleprincess says...

Action at last I hope from the authorities!!....now reinstate the loyal, hard working staff who have been put on leave by the Head Teacher...and get this school back on track again !
Action at last I hope from the authorities!!....now reinstate the loyal, hard working staff who have been put on leave by the Head Teacher...and get this school back on track again ! mylittleprincess
  • Score: 15

3:42pm Thu 13 Feb 14

f.p says...

Let's hope it's a very long extended leave and she should take early retirement so no othe schools staff or students suffer at her hands .
Let's hope it's a very long extended leave and she should take early retirement so no othe schools staff or students suffer at her hands . f.p
  • Score: 14

4:07pm Thu 13 Feb 14

Renny78 says...

Well done the people of Blackburn. Cherry Ridgway will be absent from Pleckgate indefinitely. What a marvellous example of democracy in action. Despite what Simon Jones of the NUT may say, this is EXACTLY the way people should protest!

To the people who signed the petition in good faith- well done, it was your voices that finally were finally heard!!!
Well done the people of Blackburn. Cherry Ridgway will be absent from Pleckgate indefinitely. What a marvellous example of democracy in action. Despite what Simon Jones of the NUT may say, this is EXACTLY the way people should protest! To the people who signed the petition in good faith- well done, it was your voices that finally were finally heard!!! Renny78
  • Score: 20

4:44pm Thu 13 Feb 14

voice of reason10 says...

I think, to be fair it was the exposes that cam through on the comments on this article and the original article which really did it for her. Putting the information into the public domain was so important.

Hopefully the people who supported her and did the bullying on her behalf will take stock and either apologise or also get out of the school. There is a lot of debris to sort through, not least some staff who are unfairly suspended - they need urgent consideration.

It will be many, many months and perhaps years beofre any sense of normality prevails at this school, but at least the process can start.
I think, to be fair it was the exposes that cam through on the comments on this article and the original article which really did it for her. Putting the information into the public domain was so important. Hopefully the people who supported her and did the bullying on her behalf will take stock and either apologise or also get out of the school. There is a lot of debris to sort through, not least some staff who are unfairly suspended - they need urgent consideration. It will be many, many months and perhaps years beofre any sense of normality prevails at this school, but at least the process can start. voice of reason10
  • Score: 12

4:56pm Thu 13 Feb 14

Pendle Bill says...

Good news, or so it appears. But now is the time to keep the pressure up on BwD. Demand a public enquiry (and I know to my cost how reluctant BwD will be to accede to this!) and make sure that the right lessons are learned. If everyone relaxes, thinking that the battle is won, circumstances may yet spring a surprise upon you all. Maintain the pressure!
Good news, or so it appears. But now is the time to keep the pressure up on BwD. Demand a public enquiry (and I know to my cost how reluctant BwD will be to accede to this!) and make sure that the right lessons are learned. If everyone relaxes, thinking that the battle is won, circumstances may yet spring a surprise upon you all. Maintain the pressure! Pendle Bill
  • Score: 15

8:28pm Sat 22 Feb 14

Umar22 says...

GOD! I USED TO BE A FORMER STUDENT... Pleckgate is going to the dogs. When I first started Pleckgate High school I had very low SATs grades (mainly between level 2 and level 3) however over the period of 5 years in me attending Pleckgate High School my English, Maths and Science improved a lot because of the amazing teachers I had (Not saying any names.. I'm not EVEN sure if they still work at Pleckgate anymore) by the time I had left school I achieved 12 GCSE's three C’s, eight B’s and an A. One thing that I am sure of is that the school was an amazing place to study I learnt a lot about life, I was given the opportunities I needed to make myself stand out and was given a lot of support which helped me do well in my GCSE’s.
P.s. I'm not sure if any of the above makes sense.
GOD! I USED TO BE A FORMER STUDENT... Pleckgate is going to the dogs. When I first started Pleckgate High school I had very low SATs grades (mainly between level 2 and level 3) however over the period of 5 years in me attending Pleckgate High School my English, Maths and Science improved a lot because of the amazing teachers I had (Not saying any names.. I'm not EVEN sure if they still work at Pleckgate anymore) by the time I had left school I achieved 12 GCSE's three C’s, eight B’s and an A. One thing that I am sure of is that the school was an amazing place to study I learnt a lot about life, I was given the opportunities I needed to make myself stand out and was given a lot of support which helped me do well in my GCSE’s. P.s. I'm not sure if any of the above makes sense. Umar22
  • Score: 4

9:29pm Thu 27 Feb 14

BillyPilgrim says...

Umar22 wrote:
GOD! I USED TO BE A FORMER STUDENT... Pleckgate is going to the dogs. When I first started Pleckgate High school I had very low SATs grades (mainly between level 2 and level 3) however over the period of 5 years in me attending Pleckgate High School my English, Maths and Science improved a lot because of the amazing teachers I had (Not saying any names.. I'm not EVEN sure if they still work at Pleckgate anymore) by the time I had left school I achieved 12 GCSE's three C’s, eight B’s and an A. One thing that I am sure of is that the school was an amazing place to study I learnt a lot about life, I was given the opportunities I needed to make myself stand out and was given a lot of support which helped me do well in my GCSE’s.
P.s. I'm not sure if any of the above makes sense.
Thanks, Umar and your comments make perfect sense.
You spent your five years in a school which cared about you and wanted the best for you. It may not always have been apparent, but your teachers had your welfare and your future at heart. This was a family school and we delivered far more than the National Curriculum.
Some of the teachers from those days are still here and we are still trying to do the same job. The last 18 months, however, have been a real trial. Not quite sure how I got through it and survived.
Thanks again. Your comments are appreciated.
[quote][p][bold]Umar22[/bold] wrote: GOD! I USED TO BE A FORMER STUDENT... Pleckgate is going to the dogs. When I first started Pleckgate High school I had very low SATs grades (mainly between level 2 and level 3) however over the period of 5 years in me attending Pleckgate High School my English, Maths and Science improved a lot because of the amazing teachers I had (Not saying any names.. I'm not EVEN sure if they still work at Pleckgate anymore) by the time I had left school I achieved 12 GCSE's three C’s, eight B’s and an A. One thing that I am sure of is that the school was an amazing place to study I learnt a lot about life, I was given the opportunities I needed to make myself stand out and was given a lot of support which helped me do well in my GCSE’s. P.s. I'm not sure if any of the above makes sense.[/p][/quote]Thanks, Umar and your comments make perfect sense. You spent your five years in a school which cared about you and wanted the best for you. It may not always have been apparent, but your teachers had your welfare and your future at heart. This was a family school and we delivered far more than the National Curriculum. Some of the teachers from those days are still here and we are still trying to do the same job. The last 18 months, however, have been a real trial. Not quite sure how I got through it and survived. Thanks again. Your comments are appreciated. BillyPilgrim
  • Score: 4

7:19am Fri 28 Feb 14

GiftHorse says...

Can I start by applauding the above comments.
Things will hopefully settle down at Pleckgate. I've heard that the whole atmosphere for both staff and pupils improved massively, even within a couple of days of the new acting headteacher taking over. This same acting head is working hard to get things sorted out and pick up the pieces from Ms Cherry Ridgway's trail of ruin.
Blackburn with Darwen has rightly praised the positivity of the school's staff in a letter to parents.
My one concern is that most of the senior management team - for the time being - still consists of Ms Ridgway's appointments. Yesterday, I heard that the only remaining Deputy Head (a lady called McGinty) had been up to some of Ms Ridgway's old tricks - in a nutshell, she dragged some pupils in before the bell and then upbraided the teacher in front of her class for being late for the lesson. So we still have a SLT member who is unprofessional, rude and dishonest in her methods! Has this individual not seen that this bullying doesn't work and is absolutely UNACCEPTABLE.
Yes, the dust needs to settle and the acting headteacher deserves every support in this challenging task of making Pleckgate a functioning school again, but bullies need to be named and shamed.
Can I start by applauding the above comments. Things will hopefully settle down at Pleckgate. I've heard that the whole atmosphere for both staff and pupils improved massively, even within a couple of days of the new acting headteacher taking over. This same acting head is working hard to get things sorted out and pick up the pieces from Ms Cherry Ridgway's trail of ruin. Blackburn with Darwen has rightly praised the positivity of the school's staff in a letter to parents. My one concern is that most of the senior management team - for the time being - still consists of Ms Ridgway's appointments. Yesterday, I heard that the only remaining Deputy Head (a lady called McGinty) had been up to some of Ms Ridgway's old tricks - in a nutshell, she dragged some pupils in before the bell and then upbraided the teacher in front of her class for being late for the lesson. So we still have a SLT member who is unprofessional, rude and dishonest in her methods! Has this individual not seen that this bullying doesn't work and is absolutely UNACCEPTABLE. Yes, the dust needs to settle and the acting headteacher deserves every support in this challenging task of making Pleckgate a functioning school again, but bullies need to be named and shamed. GiftHorse
  • Score: 7

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