Thursday, 21 November 2013

EXCLUSIVE: LEAKED Minutes from School Council Oct/Nov 2013

The School Council have managed to outdo themselves this time in actually raising nothing that anyone actually cares about, or is integral to education and learning within the school, according to newly acquired minutes. We might as well whisper our problems and quarrels to a dead tramp, because our so-called 'student voice' is about as effectual in voice actual concerns as mute donkey in a gimp costume. Last time we reported on Council Minutes, the highlights (and we're not over-exaggerating when we say 'highlights') were the fabrication of cutlery and sexual segregation, and this time they have taken a step up! Now we have fencing and racism. Intrigued? Don't be too much; this is the School Council we're talking about here.

The first Item on the agenda just so happens to be School Council Constitution, which was, of course, signed by Mohammed Washington and Ahmed Franklin (although we doubt the Right to Bear Arms was in there). It wasn't really a constitution; it just told Councillors to turn up and get on with being useless.

Item 2 was a revelation, as the present staff allegedly "reminded students that this was their forum for making sure the views of the students are shared with members of the Senior Leadership Team". There are three problems with this, stemming from three stages within the School Council paradigm. 1) The students that sign up for the School Council aren't necessarily the ones that have the opinions on the school, they are just there for the free period and the sense of power, and don't actually feed back any concerns that might cause a stir. 2) The School Council is a "forum for making sure the views of the students are shared" as much as a soundproof room: you can shout as much as you want, but no one will hear you. 3) The SLT. They don't care. They have perfected the vacant-looking smiling and nodding while you vent your spleen, but they aren't going to enact any change. Because it is just that: change. They don't want to create a stir, to not accept the Status Quo, to create some friction, and, most of all, disagree with the Head. I've never seen a group of people so scared of a man who's complete complexion is that of a sad face drawn onto someone's left bollock.

Item 3 was another reminder, that the previous council had won a sum of money from the Jack Petchey Award for their "recycling campaign", their ability to remind year councils of the "importance of recycling" and, because they slap it onto absolutely anything now, how their little bin campaign was allegedly Rights Respecting. We here at the Trash care about the environment (our paper costs are unparalleled to any other publication), but you don't need to devote an entire campaign, let alone a single Item on an agenda, to recycling. We are a Camden school; if you want recycling bins, you ask for them, the council delivers them, you use them. You would think that by Secondary School age students would know the difference between a waste paper bin and a normal bin, not least for the fact that they have "RECYCLING" written on every single one, and that students would not need other pen-pushing students to patronise them over the state of waste in their school. The only Trash that they should be gleefully reminded of is this one here.

And then we come to Item 4. Following a meeting with the Year Council, the School Council has put forward the suggestion of (drum-roll please)... a School House System.


Its almost as if they want Hampstead to be a private school. First Blazers, then Prefects and now a House System. What next? A yearly fee for education at Hampstead and Church on a Saturday? We have a sorting system already in place, that works perfectly well: its called Forms. And, if we even consider the idea for a second, what would the houses be called? Gryffinmoore (or Gryffindaulphin), Hadleypuff, Ravenkidd and Slytherinkowski (or Szemelytherin) are our suggestions.

Item 4 continued in the same stupor, with the revelation that the school toilets were dirty and broken. Really? Forget the Jack Petchey Award, the No S**t Sherlock Award has to be given to the School Council. It would be lovely if the toilets were clean, hygienic and didn't smell of a mixture of pee and weed, however, they are never going to achieve that in a school. Unless you installed a full-time toilet attendant (and please don't take that as an actual suggestion) you are going to get some gonk with an inability to get it inside the bowl, let alone the cubicle.

The Council's think-tank-based-twattery continued with the suggestion "Languages corridor congested - consideration be given to a one way system being introduced". I know we can't quite see the lobotomy scars, but do these people not remember the first time they tried to do that? The detriment to education was astounding, with many students being repeatedly late to lessons because the class they wanted to get to, despite being no farther than a few metres from a staircase, had to be reached the long way around. The whole point of having two sets of stairs is so that you don't have more people creating congestion by moving down the corridor. It was a stupid idea then, and its still a stupid idea now.

The contributions wearily continue with the introduction of a cashless system for school meals. Firstly, yes, this system works very well in certain school, but then again, those certain schools are usually private schools, and so can afford to have the systems installed. Secondly, most of these systems run on biometrics; so would you really want the SLT to have access to your fingerprints? What if you lost your tag or card (or finger)? Would you go hungry that day?

There was also the suggestion of litter duty in several forms, both voluntary and IEU students. Firstly, what type of unhinged student would volunteer to pick up other peoples' crap? Secondly, when you are in the IEU (Internal Exclusion Unit, for those who don't know. Yes, we do know it is an oxymoron) you are supposed to still be learning, not just sitting idle. Regardless of what those students have done or how they have behaved, they still have a Right to Education (please, can at least one person actually read the convention in either the Council or SLT) and have to by law, still complete work. Also, if everyone didn't drop litter, half the site staff would be done out of a job. By dropping litter, we are directly aiding the economy, that our elders in their infinite wisdom have managed to royally screw over. If the School Council thinks the site staff are being inadequate or complacent, sack them and get new people in, not students. That's slavery, half-wits.

Other points included Drop Everything and Read being neglected by teachers, with good reason, as teachers have to teach lessons. The school shouldn't have to impose selected reading times, students who are interested will do it of their own accord. After all this is a 'School that Reads'. Also, concerns were raised about students selling cookies, which is beguiling since, as we have said in the past, the selling of cookies is not only entrepreneurial (surely a quality that should be celebrated) but also qualifies as performing a public service by allowing students to purchase actual food, and does not harm anyone. To top it all off, there was a complaint that pizzas had been getting smaller. Yes, true, this is an actual problem, but surely the way to solve the problem is to just, you know, not buy the inferior pizzas. The kitchen staff will soon cotton on to the fact the small pizzas aren't selling and change them back. But, yet again, why is this being discussed at School Council level?

To read the original documents, you can either head to our new Add-on 'Szemelileaks', launched today, by clicking the link here, or go straight to the documents here.

DISCLAIMER: This Hampstead Trash article has been written to critique the actions of the governing bodies of the school. This is so student readers can hear both sides of the argument, and formulate their own opinions on matters pertaining to their education.

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