St Christopher’s Fairer Inclusion of Students

St Christopher’s Fairer Inclusion of Students

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Nat Beckwith started this petition to St Christopher's Board of Governors

To the Board of Governors, Principal Simon Watson and the Executive Leadership Team,

In view of the most recent Mode of Learning survey, and of mounting speculation that hybrid learning will continue well into the 2021/2022 academic year, we urge the Board of Governors to consider a fairer, more transparent and inclusive process of allowing as many students into the school as is possible, whilst at the same time adhering to the Ministry of Health’s guidelines. 

St Christopher’s has had almost a full year to address parental frustrations and to explore all viable options for accommodating students who seek a full time placement. The School appears satisfied to maintain its stance, at least publicly, that the current ‘ballot’ system is fair, transparent and is the only viable option.

We recognize the tremendous and impossible task that teachers face under these circumstances, and unequivocally support the position that those children who have two parents working as teachers should be given the option of attending on a full time basis. We do not accept that those children with only one working teacher parent, as well as those of support teachers, marketing / administration support etc, should also be automatically entitled to full time status.

That the children of full fee paying parents have to clamor, justify and persuade the school to allow our children a full time education, is simply unfair and unethical. It is galling that St Christopher’s has created a system whereby in forcing parents to justify full time entry, we as a community have been pitted against one another, teachers have unfairly but understandably been reviled for their privileges  and above all, sends a message to our children that for reasons beyond their comprehension, some of their classmates’ inclusion is automatic, whilst theirs is always on probation. 

We know that children do better in the classroom. We know that those children who have had the privilege of a full time classroom experience do better not only academically, but socially and emotionally as well. There is no justifiable reason why those of us paying 100% of the fees, should then be granted 50% of the service. 

Dr Watson and other members of the Executive Leadership Team have had these complaints and issues canvassed to them by countless parents over a number of months. Any suggestion that the executive or Board has never received a complaint from parents is ludicrous,  and would only serve to demonstrate how out of touch it has become with its stakeholders. 

We urge St Christopher’s and the Board of Governors to consider:

  1. Setting up a focus group inclusive of parents, teachers, members of the ELT and other stakeholders to work through what may be ongoing issues in a consultative and transparent manner.
  2. Reconsider the physical classroom set up to allow for more students and/or smaller groups of children to be supervised by teachers, TAs and other staff members. If actual space is an issue then consider renting or purchasing temporary buildings (for which there is clearly plenty of space).
  3. Reconsider assigning a designated teacher in each year group, to be responsible for full online delivery to those students who are remote learners, to alleviate the burden teachers feel in simultaneously delivering physical and online learning, whilst at the same time ensuring an online learning experience which is less disjointed. The combined online and in-class teaching delivery is sub-standard and clearly places undue stress on teachers, home-schooling parents and students alike.
  4. Create more opportunity for non-staff children to attend school, by applying the same (or similar) selection criteria on the School’s staff children that applies to full fee paying parents.
  5. Consider a discount in school fees for those families who (a) choose to remote learn or (b) by no choice of their own, are only able to send their children into school on a part time basis. The discount may incentivize some families to elect full or part time remote learning, and create opportunities  for others.

Your consideration is appreciated.

The St Christopher’s community. 

 

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