Posted on 12/11/2014

Refusing to budge

Last week it was reported that a school sent home 152 pupils in one day because they turned up in uniform that did not meet the strict new rules. Whilst I am not privy to all the details and it is not my place to comment on that particular case, I do have admiration for a school standing strong and refusing to budge on the standards they have set.

This is the approach we have taken, and will continue to take, at FBS. This half term, and the half term after Christmas, are the ones where uniform standards can easily slip if we are not on top of it. Every teacher in every lesson will be checking uniform including scarves, hats, gloves and coats. On Wednesday afternoons, boys will be expected to wear full kit, including rugby boots, and if they choose to wear track pants when it is cold, only plain black.

On Wednesday afternoons it will get really cold. Playing rugby when the wind is blowing and the pitch is muddy will be hard. But Fulham Boys are enterprising. They don’t give in. They dig deep, work even harder; always possessing a ‘never lie down’, ‘have a go’ attitude. These are the standards we insist upon.

But we are not just concerned about behaviour, attitude, uniform and kit. This week we have a whole school review – a process that allows us to drill down into how well the school is performing. This, our first, review is focussing on three priorities from our school development plan – Ethos, Standards and Target Setting and Tracking. It includes lesson observations, reviewing pupils’ work, pupil interviews, analysing data and programmes of study and meeting with teachers. The review team includes the Senior Leadership Team, one of our department heads, Elizabeth Phillips, the retired headmistress of the hugely successful Marylebone Girls School and an FBS governor, and Jenny Bax from the Local Authority, who is also an Ofsted inspector. I have told the review team to be as rigorous, thorough and challenging as possible! Once all the evidence is in I will write a report highlighting what we are doing well along with areas for development to be addressed by individual teachers, departments and as a whole school.

We are not perfect. Far from it. But that is what we are striving for and we refuse to budge.

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