Tuesday, 13 October 2015

The Right to a Refund?

Those present at the end of term assemblies will have remembered the Head lauding the fact that, come the new year, Hampstead school would be entering itself for the Level 2 UNICEF Rights Respecting School Award, however, he neglected to mention the costs that this would entail for us.

Now, to simply join the Rights Respecting Schools Award (RRSA) it is an upfront £200 bill the school has to foot. From then on, to gain Level 1 accreditation, its another £475 (plus VAT), with a further £750 (plus VAT) for the Level 2. Assuming VAT is at 20%, the total for the RRSA is already coming in at £1,784.

And it gets worse. Also factored in is teacher training. According to the 2015 RRSA courses document, there are at least four training days that are applicable to Hampstead school, with a cost of £140 per day per teacher. For just one teacher, we're looking at a cost of £560. And if the school decides its better to have the training at Hampstead, the cost shoots up. For a half-day of training, it costs £400, a full day is £750, with an additional £400 for every extra support visit needed. As the school have not said which form of training they use, assuming either one teacher went off and did the training or the school paid for a day's training for as many teachers as they could find, with no follow-up or half day, the cost of the entire course is at least £2,344 or £2,534. Perhaps a reason why the school were so confident they would achieve the award was, as an awarding body, it would seem unfair to reject an institution that had already paid so much.

This obviously does not rival the cost of AfA or the Attendance scheme, as we have highlighted in previous articles, but why does it matter? Because that's £2,534 that is not going to our education. That is £2,534 that has been given by the taxpayer to go towards the betterment of our learning, wasted on something the Head can simply point to in an assembly and smile: "Look what we've done." It should sicken every student, parent and teacher that the school is happy to waste thousands of pounds every year on meaningless fluff, when that money could be used to fund trips, to fund the extra-curricular clubs that are in steep decline, to pay for new equipment for every subject, to pay for things that actually matter to us, and will shape us, the students, into well-rounded, complex individuals with a wealth of knowledge. Because, after all, is that not what school is for?

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