Wednesday, 7 January 2015

A new 'initiative' by the school this year was a recycled one from back in 2009 (we guess, the past is a KA-induced sugary blur), wherein students were each given their own school email. Now this seems, on the surface, actually quite a good idea, but we have heard some complaints about the system. This is the point at which regular readers expect a long-winded rant about how the school had yet again colossally made a fool of themselves (which is not uncommon), but when it comes to the school email system, we don't actually have an opinion on it (shock horror!!!). We can see that there are salient points for and against the system being in place, and rather than pointing out how the school are wrong, we thought we would lay out points for both sides, and let our readers make their own judgment.

The first, and most obvious, reason for an email systems is contact and communication. If you are in email contact with your teachers then are constantly able to let them impart knowledge and teach. This may seem a bit much for those in the lower years, but those doing GCSE and A Level, this ability is invaluable. If you've got coursework due in the next day and you need help, being able to talk to someone is brilliant.

However, the flip side of this is, for those who are doing GCSE and A Level, they will have happily been working without an email system for a number of years, using their own personal emails to contact teachers. This was of course fine, as teachers had their own school emails, which could be monitored for by the school, so for these people the school demanding that everyone only use their school emails made things unnecessarily complicated and difficult.

The response to this would be that, if everyone had a uniform, school based email, when it came to applying you university, apprenticeships or jobs, the school would be under the assurance that they had a formal, professional email address, rather than the inevitable's and's. That said, surely it would be more helpful, though, to encourage students to create their own professional emails, which they can then take into their adult life, than one that they will ultimately have to leave behind. Another objection is that this professional email is only required when you get towards sixth form but, as already said, by then it is too late for it to be worthwhile. This dichotomy was solved the first time the school tried this, back in '09(?) when they gave emails to the entire school, including year 7's. This, of course, quickly descended into students spamming each other with internet phenomena and other profanities.

Of course, there is one other thing that some students are none-too-pleased with. With the email system being run by the school it can, of course, be monitored by the school. Now, this seems fine when it comes to teachers, as this stops any untoward or not strictly legal contact between staff and students. However, this is the school we are talking about, and when it comes to freedom of speech and online penalisation (or eSafety as they call it), they do have one hell of a track record (we are still blocked, as is the Wikipedia page).

That is the sum of what we are heard, and that is what we have now reported. We retain that we have no opinion on the school email, as its such a small thing, and debatably not a bad thing, that it's not worth protestating about it any further. You are, as readers, always welcome to have your say, whether it be in the comments or otherwise.

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