Thursday, 2 July 2015

A Gilded Turd is A Turd Nonetheless

The school this week advertised supposedly 'new' jobs that were open for students to apply for, including the title 'Student Leader', even though in the email that was sent with the attached information and application form said that they were simply rebranding what "used to be known as School Council class rep". This comes as the variety of pointless 'leadership' roles available to students reaches its peak, with students being able to be Prefects, Head of Prefects, Head Boy/Girl, School Council members, Year Council members, HABZ members, RRSA Team members and REACT Team members, the irony being that none of them mean anything; it's just another sad attempt on the school's behalf to bulk up students' CVs on the cheap with pointless job titles, to make them feel as it they are part of something (even though that something is a PR stunt to make the school look good), so that when it comes to applying for university their Personal Statement doesn't just read "l33test n0sc0per in Norf Weezie".

What amazes us, as always, is the school's amazing cheek in saying some of the stuff it does in the various documents sent to students, even after we have so publicly lambasted them for their actions to the contrary. On the Student Leaders job description they casually kick off with Article 12 of the Rights of a Child Charter: "Every child has the right to say what they think in all matters affecting them, and to have their views taken seriously." EVIDENTLY NOT! Just by slapping articles on things doesn't mean you are doing them; that would involve the school being run by actual human beings, instead of a man who has shown himself to be nothing more than a blundering, ill-educated vacuous press-monkey.

Under the heading "Why do we need Student Leaders?" (to which, by the way, the answer is "we don't"), the school say: "To enhance student leadership and prepare them for ambassador or public relations roles at university or the world of work." This from a Headship who, when speaking to prospective parents, said that Hampstead does not try and fit students into a mould, before going on about the stringent Uniform rules. You can see them already shaping students into the next bout of PR goons, so that in ten years the Head can claim a success for homogenising a group of comprehensive louts into a bunch of mediocre twats.

There are various aneurysm-inducing bulletpoints under the heading "What will you have to do?", however the one that got most on my tits was this: "To support the work needed as a Rights Respecting School to maintain the focus on the UNCRC and its importance for all children nationally and globally". Ignoring the repeated word and the excessive apostrophe in 'its', the school seem incapable of maintaining the focus of the UNCRC in the Management, let alone students. Nay, the students are all fine, because they're not the ones ruining lives.

Then there is a section entitled "What does it offer me?" (to which the answer is, undoubtedly, "absolutely nothing"). Within this, they put the following reasons for joining:
"One full day training, with lunch provided, covering:
- Ethos, values and spirit of Hampstead School
- Service Leadership Skills
- Confidence and communication building exercises
- A chance to meet informally with key members of staff over lunch, and the opportunity to feed back to these staff on the student experience at Hampstead School 
A coveted Hampstead School Leadership water bottle, a Fairtrade Hampstead School Leadership tee shirt for summer duties, and an official School Leadership Badge.

A positively worded contribution to the Student Reference and the opportunity to enhance UCAS/College applications."
What ethos? What values? Call me a cynic, but when a school's Head is willing to ruin a student's life by calling their university out of spite, then it is germane to say the school might lack a few 'values', and the ethos that most schools have, of bettering students, isn't really there. Secondly, you don't need a training day to 'meet informally with key members of staff' and 'feedback to these staff on the student experience at Hampstead'; they work in the same building as you! Just go up to them at break or lunch and scream at them how crap the school is. I'm sure the Head would love to hear your feedback, as he has responded so well to criticism in the past...

I think 'coveted' is a bit strong when talking about a Hampstead School water bottle, the same thing that they give to parents at Parents' Evening to help wash the valium down. Maybe it hasn't quite reached Hampstead School yet, but as it happens, having water is a Human Right, not a reward. And on top of this, an 'official School Leadership Badge'! I'm not entirely sure why they included the word 'official', as if there is someone out there making counterfeit School Leadership Badges.

At this point, they evidently ran out of things they could offer, and so resorted to "A positively worded contribution to the Student Reference", as if that wasn't already on the cards. If the school was generating negatively worded Student References (which, let's face it, isn't beyond the realms of possibility) on UCAS and college applications, they would be harming student chances of getting onto good courses (as if we haven't heard that before), in turn harming the much more pressing matter of their bragging rights. You can't offer a good student reference when that's what you do anyway, and signing up wouldn't change a thing.

It goes on: "A certificate of achievement and gift of Amazon tokens if all duties have been satisfactorily completed at the end of the year." So you get a piece of paper at the end saying you have achieved nothing, but the people who have a vested interest in you want to make you look good, and then have made you look good. Then, they simply resort to bribery.

What's funny is then, as if this is some sort of serious thing, they list their demands. They kick off with: "To be considered you will be a positive member of the school Community. As such, you will have 95% attendance, except for extenuating circumstances, and not be on or have been on behaviour report this academic year." Notice the missing 'have' in the first sentence (Thanks P. E. Dant, Ed.). This basically rules out anyone who has had anything more than a mild sniffle in the past year, as well as anyone who does not fit within their idea of what they want a Hampstead student to be, not what Hampstead students actually are. Equally, the use of 'except for extenuating circumstances' means they can accept those students which exemplify their message, but still use the rules as a measuring stick by which to reject anyone they don't like.

They also ask to "Deliver a one minute ‘Vote for me’ speech", however, the rest of the 'application process' implies that there is no student vote. Instead, as with all things, the democratically elected student voice will be placed by the Management, so that no one disagrees with what the school does, and they can claim they have consensus.

The real kick in the teeth is on the actual application form, wherein at the end it proudly states: "Hampstead School is a Rights Respecting School and committed to UNCRC and Equality of Opportunity. Applications are open to all students", which, of course, ladies and gentlemen, was a lie! The email which contained this document was addressed solely to students in Years 7-10, probably because Year 13 are gone, Year 12 have actual work to do and Year 11 had work, and the majority won't be doing any more at Hampstead. Also, on the rights thing, see the rest of the article.

Follow up articles to this will be published in the coming days.

DISCLAIMER: The Head, a totalitarian, vindictive, dictatorial leader who seeks to wipe out all opposition to him and his rule, in no way resembles Adolf Hitler. If the insinuation that the two people are similar or the same at all was made in this article, we can only apologise. It is pure chance that he does not have a pencil moustache.


  1. offensive and childish

    1. What do you expect from students writing a satirical blog