Tuesday, 10 November 2015

Nothing New

Continuing Hampstead's series of very expensive adverts, the latest re-branding, this time of the 6th Form, featured as a half-page spread in the local Ham&High this week (see Trash passim for our pars on the cost of that). Undoubtedly, the school have once again shelled out vast sums of tax payers' cash allotted for our education to their marketing pals e4education, who also recently reformatted the website, for a red-and-grey slanty design, perhaps representing the school's sliding grades.

As well as boasting being in the top 5% of Sixth Forms, which we have well documented is a step down even though they paid through the nose for that as well, and carrying a photo from a results day some three years ago, featuring students that naturally haven't gone to the school in ages, some of the claims made in the advert are equally as old.

The ad claims the school has a "proven track record of outstanding success over many years". A largely meaningless phrase at best, the last time we checked 'this is a good school', not outstanding, and how have they 'proven' they have a track record for success? Not only do they not state where they've got this from in the material, judging by the last few years results (which we try not to, but they definitely do) there has been a poor track record of no or negligible success.

They go on to make the bold claim that there is an "extensive range of extra-curricular activities in the UK and abroad". We have one trip abroad each year, and that is a select few students, as opposed to about a decade ago, when there were as many as three a year, for all different types of students. Despite the Head's and the government's best efforts, extra-curricular is on the up at Hampstead (although the quality of clubs is, at times, laughable), but it is a far cry from an 'extensive range', especially for 6th Formers.

Finally, they brag that they have a "fantastic record of progression to university including Oxbridge and Medical School". This may be a typo, since, as the running joke goes, 99.999% of Hampstead 6th Formers end up at Uxbridge. Again, the school is trading of a select few getting in to Oxbridge and Medical School year on year, and that pool has been particularly shallow these past few years. Funny how that dry spell of very high acheivers coincided with 7+ years (a full length of a student's tenure) since the current Head took over...

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