Monday, 21 November 2016

Sixth Form Students to Receive WiFi Password

In a largely unprecedented move towards a marginally less crappy student experience, Sixth Form students have been promised access, via a password, to a wireless network tantalisingly called "Student_WiFi". Little is known about students from Years 7 to 11 receiving the password, however as they are at no point during the school day
allowed to use phones (the unwritten, unspoken legislature on laptops and other devices is less clear), it is reasonable to say at this point that they will almost certainly not be given access to the student WiFi network.

Ignoring the statistical unlikelihood of the WiFi password ever being known by anyone, what appears to be a kind, even "good" gesture begins to appear considerably less so when the circumstances preceding the announcement are taken to consideration.

Until recently, Hampstead's Sixth Formers were afforded completely unfettered use of ~15 computers in their common room, as well as several more in the library. As a direct result of what may be considered an inept decision (i.e. beginning the operation of re-purposing the Science block in a process that is expected to continue to Spring 2017), the common room now serves as 2 department offices and 3 classrooms, and the library is now largely off-limits at break, lunch and free periods, it too having become a classroom suite.

Few, we hope, could argue that a grease-smudged phone is a suitable replacement for the admittedly clunky but nonetheless favourable typing conditions provided by a computer keyboard. With the large volume of work set for A Level students this is especially important. While it may be said that Sixth Formers are not, strictly speaking, entitled to computer facilities, many chose Hampstead for Sixth Form with specific experiences and facilities in mind, the disruption and complete withdrawal of some of these facilities being unforeseen at the time. Additionally, whatever the intentions or motives of the SLT, it is difficult to sincerely suggest that they have consistently acted with the best interests of Years 12 and 13 in mind.
The Trash's new resident cartoonist's depiction of school-wide reactions.
Perhaps the most striking aspect of this saga of austerity is the sheer irony of promising a WiFi password, being fully aware that phones will account for the overwhelming majority of connected devices, to students who are completely prohibited from using their phones at break and lunch, and are subject to ambiguous, inconsistent rules during their free periods. Simply put, "we would very much like for you to use your phones and have made provisions for this, just so long as we don't catch you".

DISCLAIMER: This Hampstead Trash article is 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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