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News » WAB Debate


Schools In Barnsley - A WAB Debate

Wednesday April 3 2013


We Are Barnsley We Are Barnsley


What do YOU think of Barnsley's schools?

It's always a great point of debate on our Facebook page, so it's a natural choice to be our next topic for this month's WAB Debate.

After writing numerous articles on schools' recent Ofsted reports, it seems like there's a divide in their performances.

Many Ofsted reports have been positive; some schools have even been awarded an 'outstanding' report - Ofsted's highest mark.

However, schools such as Shafton ALC have been criticised.

So if you're a pupil, or if your child/children go to a school in Barnsley, what do you think to them? Are you happy with how they're performing? Could they do better? What would you like them to change?

Have your say below.

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Reply Posted by Jayne on Wednesday April 3 2013 at 09:43
My kids go to Carlton primary and if your child can learn they will push them. I have 2 kids, one with a learning difficulty and one without. The one with the learning difficulty they don't want to know but the one without is doing just fine.

Reply Posted by Barry Smith on Wednesday April 3 2013 at 09:47
They are a total disaster. Shafton ALC is in special Measure, there is a cultural of sickness there among teacher and now even the Head Teacher is doing it. Teaching is very poor and no one want to talk to Parent. The Council just don't care either. It is not only Shafton, we have other school's in Barnsley which are in Special Measure. Perhaps the answer is for us Parents to De-register our Children and teach them at home, i know i am thinking of doing it.

Reply Posted by Larkin on Saturday March 1 2014 at 04:11
Teachers, these so-called "professional" beings that we're supposed to put on a pedestal as some sort of saviours of our children's future are some of the most unprofessional, uneducated and obtuse people you will come across. I understand that they are only government employees who have to work within strict parameters which is why a lot of them are not motivated in their love of teaching as they are by a bureaucratic whip and crappy pay. When details of a child's uniform supersedes efforts to make learning more enjoyable, you have a problem. Children are continuously chastised about their behaviour when the person doing the chastising could do with modifying their own. It seems the more self-respect and self-discipline a teacher or head teacher lacks, the more they demand it. I've witnessed horrendous treatment and ostracism of children by staff because they lack the confidence, intelligence, and prudence to deal with it any other way. Unfortunately, this is a bi-product of their own upbringing within a state sponsored system that forces a child to cater to the system rather than enhancing a child's individual aptitudes and talents.

Reply Posted by anon on Wednesday April 3 2013 at 10:15
horizon community college! they have absolutley no respect for the pupils, and care more about their apperence than their learning. enough said it really is crap

Reply Posted by shaz on Tuesday April 16 2013 at 22:23
so did you go to school - obviously a waste of time - apperence what is that???

Reply Posted by - on Wednesday April 3 2013 at 10:26
what did they give horizon? i wont be surprised if they got critised infact ill be shocked if it hasnt

Reply Posted by . on Wednesday April 3 2013 at 11:05
As a pupil from Horizon, i have to say, overall, the teaching itself isnt too bad. I do well in the majority of my lessons, and im not the most well behaved pupil to put it politely. My problem with Horizon is that it seems to have its priorities all wrong, bearing in mind a schools job is to teach, and educate, alot of the time they seem to be more bothered about the small things, that really dont matter. If you dont have a tie, you sit out of all your lessons, same if you come wearing jeans, or even a strand of your hair not natural, for me, none of these affect your learning, and therefore you shouldnt miss a days worth of lessons over it. Another issue is, Horizon doesnt feel like one school, as they have gone on the concept of each year group is a different school, so each year group has different rules. What is seen as acceptable uniform in one year, is not acceptable in another. And in my opinion, one set of rules should run throughout school to make it equal and fair to each pupil. Theres not enough food to go around at dinner, and we have these things called "Progress tests" which means we have tests every two weeks or so to see how we have progressed, thats not necessarily a bad thing, although for me it puts added pressure on as im sure it does for many other pupils, and because teachers are now having to meet deadlines for these progress tests, they are now skimming through topics and going back to old teaching styles such as copying of the board etc. which for many pupils, that teaching method doesnt sink in.

Reply Posted by Susan on Wednesday April 3 2013 at 11:16
I work as a teaching assistant but not in Barnsley. I'd like to work closer to home and had thought about applying for any jobs that might come up at the new Netherwood ALC which replaced Wombwell High and Darfield Foulstone.
I'd be interested to know what pupils/ parents think of it, is it a good school?

Reply Posted by Heather on Friday April 12 2013 at 09:08
My daughter is in Year 7 and she loves it. Personally, I am strict with her uniform/appearance, behaviour and performance so she is keeping to the rules and doing very well in school. She doesn't like German and wishes she was doing French but that's the norm for any student!!

Reply Posted by - on Wednesday April 3 2013 at 11:29
i agree with the other horizon pupil! their more bothered about what you look like, if you have jeans or the wrong shoes or different colour hair you get sent home or put in exclusion missing out of all your lessons, what punishment is that! getting told to take your earrings out if you have more than one pair in what harm are you doing with having earrings in, you yourself get told to takr your out but yet theres other pupils from different years that gets nothing said! its different rules for different years which in my opinions isnt fair at all, its one rule for one and another for other how does your apperence affect your learning tbf the teachers affect it more by not letting you in lessons! the teachers have absolutley no respect what so ever for the children there. exacly what the other person said theres not enough food to go round, only aloud in certain places, you can go on the eating steps at dinner after say like 12 when youve still got 15 mins left at dinner not aloud on the chairs near the canteen its pathetic!

Reply Posted by Janine on Saturday April 6 2013 at 16:55
I totaly agree with the 'bigger fish to fry' than uniform,shoes ect ect
It is proven that kids will be more receptive to learning the more relaxed they are and therefore would be easier to teach!
If schools could let drop the 'victorian' values, then both teachers and children could have a good experience in school.

Reply Posted by Heather on Friday April 12 2013 at 09:11
I cannot understand why students complain about the uniform!! If you worked for an airline, at Boots, in the Forces, McDonalds, etc etc you would be expected to adhere to their rules for appearance and behaviour or you would be sacked. It's not that it will affect your performance its in the most part about preparing students to work, respect the rules as well as learn.

Reply Posted by Janine on Monday April 15 2013 at 17:06
While I understand that when you are in Paid work you will adhere to the rules otherwise face been sacked, I cannot understand how adhering to 'buttoned up top button', 'tie tightened up' ect ( all things that make a 6 hour day uncomfotable) enhances learning?
It doesn't does it? it take the focus off what they are learning because all they can think about is 'how bloody uncomfortable this shirt and tie is!

Reply Posted by Sam on Saturday June 29 2013 at 00:34
Well said ... Totally agree... My daughter goes to horizon.... I think for the next 5 years there will be teething problems... And I feel my daughters generation are a bit like guinee pigs for this kind of school.... My daughters education is suffering due to the amount of supply teachers.....

Reply Posted by Larkin on Saturday March 1 2014 at 01:40
The reason why education is important for many parents is so that their children excel beyond working at Boots, the Forces and McDonalds. I think this ridiculous emphasis on conformity is what drums out individuality, curtails creativity, and supresses inherent divergent/independent/critical thinking and intelligence in pupils. Respect, after all is earned and I'm afraid a lot of school staff fall short of it while demanding it with such an iron fist. Contrary to respecting the rules, it creates an environment of contempt and disrespect for both students and teachers.

Reply Posted by . on Wednesday April 3 2013 at 12:36
I think that, as with anything, there are going to be very mixed opinions about even the same schools, where one set of parents and pupils will think it is outstanding and others way they may feel less positive due to incidents that they feel strongly about. Over the last few years the role of schools has changed massively for a vast number of reasons. Schools are judged all too much on the standards their pupils receive in literacy and numeracy and not enough on how they educate and care for the 'whole child'. I am not for one minute suggesting that is it not essential that we ensure all the children of Barnsley have these skills, but that they are given more freedom by the government to deliver a relevant curriculum for each child that will then help raise performance.
Over recent years the services available to schools has decreased (or charged for where it wasn't once done) meaning schools and their staff now have to cover more than the role of teaching children, they are; nurses, councillors, psychologists, attendance officers, family advisor's, Special Needs workers and many more AND all this is done with reducing budgets so schools can not employ additional staff to carry out such roles.
Overall the general quality of schools is far better now than in previous years, the biggest difference is the demands put on them by those who know little about education. Teachers do care and believe it or not do everything they can for the pupils in their school, however we must all remember that this is a very touchy area to discuss as everyone involved (pupils, parents and staff) wants the best for every child even though they may believe their is a different way this can be done. Open channels of honest communication between home and schools is the only way forward and to be honest WAB i am not sure that this debate will generate a mixed and accurate response - after all how many people use trip advisor to say they had a great holiday, how many people write thank you letters to services they have used compared to how many write to complain?
I hope I am wrong and you get the positives of education on here rather than just the negatives.

Reply Posted by Barry Smith on Wednesday April 3 2013 at 13:09
Sad to say that at Shafton ALC we cannot get a Open Channel of Honest Communication between Home and School, all we do is put a complaint in at least once a month, the latest being for my daughter getting a detention for HANDING in a piece of Home Work, yes HANDING in a piece, not forgetting to. All School are interested in now is getting a Academy Status, even if parents are against it.

WAB is the only place we can air our views and they are doing a great job and this thread should not be taken off.

Reply Posted by sarah on Wednesday April 3 2013 at 13:18
My children attend Holy Trinity and i thank the lord that the first 2 attended St.Michaels first as they had a good start to their secondary education I am already noticing a difference with the one i have in yr 7 even though they all have the same teachers and the primary end, well thats another debate altogether.

Reply Posted by Janine on Saturday April 6 2013 at 16:16
I can agree with you about Primary Phase Sarah. I have personal experience of their bad managment that resulted in me withdrawing my child completely.
Comunication between school and parents is at an all time low, but what do you expect when management have zero comunication skills.
I lost all trust and faith in the school after attending a meeting and hearing the response to concerns for my child. Which has since been proven, I was right to be concerned!

Reply Posted by Kate on Thursday April 4 2013 at 16:47
My daughter goes to school in Wakefield however I have a 5 month old daughter as well so will be reviewing schools regularly. What amuses me is the fact that people don't get the concept about respect .... The comments above state teachers do not respect pupils but surely by not adhering to the rules you are not respecting your teachers it works both ways. Also uniform means you are preparing yourself for the outside world where employers will expect you to be well presented. Also given the state of the spelling on here I think the quality of teaching speaks volumes or is it just another example if the attitude people have that they can not be bothered

Reply Posted by Kate on Thursday April 4 2013 at 16:51
Also tests are usually carried out to help you .... They prepare you for the real exams by helping you monitor progress highlight areas of strength and weakness and also help in getting used to being tested.

Reply Posted by tracey on Thursday April 4 2013 at 17:51
my son attends netherwood alc, he has been bullied since it opened i wish they would have left the schools as they was. i have been in on a number of time to see head but get told i have to see some one else as he wont see you, so why is he there, i have been trying to get my son moved for his safety and been told the school i would like him to go to is full but get no help to get him moved.

Reply Posted by Heather on Friday April 12 2013 at 09:13
Speak with the Head of Year first, Tracey.

Reply Posted by Annoyed on Friday April 5 2013 at 10:38
Penistone grammar has gone down hill! A family member is getting so much stick off them and physically abused by another student and they are not giving this student punishment for what he's done when there are witnesses and evidence he has done it. Problem with penistone grammar is that their priority is getting the top grades. If you are not intelligent, have any problems (dyslexia etc) or willing to learn they will ignore you and not help or push you to achieve success!

Reply Posted by anon on Friday April 5 2013 at 10:55
I work in a school in Barnsley and the teachers are incredibly hard working however there seems to be a lack of motivation and no real work ethos among many of the students who attend the school. Barnsley is an area of social deprivation and many families, working and non-working, don't seem to have high aspirations. While we have so many families like this, many children will remain uninspired, unmotivated and unwilling to work hard to improve themselves as they see no point! It is very sad to see many of our schools being deemed 'not good enough,' to improve this, we have to change the culture of our society! Not an easy job, I'm sure you will agree!

Reply Posted by Larkin on Saturday March 1 2014 at 02:11
You're right about the lack of motivation in students, but I don't subscribe to the notion that the kids and parents are solely responsible. Perhaps the main reason why Barnsley is such an area of social deprivation lies with poor education. Government sponsored education doesn't seem concerned with churning out intelligent, critical thinkers in society but leans towards the mass production of obedient workers who are just smart enough to work in mundane desk jobs, have limited IT skills, or acquire a piece of paper that states they can fix your plumbing, etc. I suppose most of us plebs can revel in pride that our offspring didn't choose the path of alcoholism, asbos, canon foddery, and teen pregnancies while the cross section of society elite enough to afford private education for their children go on to produce decision makers who still aren't educated in the mechanisms of a system that primarily caters for money rather than humanity.

Reply Posted by Nigel on Friday April 5 2013 at 11:53
What a load of rubbish!

Reply Posted by sarah on Friday April 5 2013 at 12:26
anon you are quite right about teaching being hard work but I have a daughter in year 7 and struggles with her literacy work,the teacher teaches for half a lesson and the other half they are free to do as they please whilst she is on the laptop.This particular teacher has been working like this for around 4 years a class got a petition to get another teacher in their class as they were fed up of being behind in their work what are we suposed to do as parents when the school wont listen to its own pupils.My eldest is due to leave this year will go to college then university and hopefully will become a G.P so we have high aspirations for our children even though we didnt do very well ourselves although my partner owns a succesful business our children are being let down by schools who fail to discipline its teachers.It isnt just the kids that need a kick up the rear some teachers do as well.

Reply Posted by anon on Friday April 5 2013 at 13:09
Sarah i agree that it is unacceptable what is happening in your daughters class and the school should be taking this matter very seriously.......

In my previous post I wasn't saying that 'no students have high aspirations' as some obviously do and this is usually because they have had excellent parental guidance; what I was saying was that (in the area where i work, many students don't have high aspirations and 8 out of 10 families are living in poverty.) I wasn't speaking about Barnsley in general!

Yes, teachers should be disciplined if they fail to provide the students with the education they deserve and it is up to the school to ensure that this happens or they are failing to meet their obligations as a school.

Reply Posted by sarah on Friday April 5 2013 at 13:26
anon i agree with what you are saying. The area in which we live is what you are saying. Poor families that dont want to acheive anything but those that do have to do it themselves as the local school which mine dont attend isnt all that good. My partner and his friends went there and out of a class of 30 odd (he left in early 80s) there might be around 10 that work as his dad pushed him to do better.It should be team work between home and school my parents didnt bother with me but school tried their best. Like you rightly say its not all barnsley but some areas dont know how to pull themselves up and some dont want to.

Reply Posted by Grim on Friday April 5 2013 at 18:05
The school in Barnsley have always been poor. They are better than they were but to be honest anon above is right. Barnsley is a deprived area with far too many people not just unable to work but unwilling too. There are too many parents too busy getting drunk, beating each other, doing drugs and sitting on benefits and not enough decent parents guiding caring and advising their kids.

Reply Posted by Larkin on Saturday March 1 2014 at 03:01
I think a parent who choose to be at home and devote all their time to their children and running a household is a full time job with benefit money well spent., I fully support single parents who choose not to get a 9-5 job where they have to play tug of war with the priorities between their employment and their children and usually are too miserable and tired at the end of the day to care. Then along comes the weekend where they've 'earned' that well deserved 'neet out'. The problem does not lie with unemployment as it does with the stigma attached to those who are unemployed. A true understanding of demographics would reveal that an equal number of "gainfully employed" take drugs, beat each other, and just generally engage in anti social behaviour. It's as if having full time employment or career automatically awards people the sanctimony to sit there and give a narrow minded judgement of those who do not in order to gain some delusional, ego-stroking satisfaction. Einstein once said "The only thing that interferes with my learning is my education." Imagine a society in which our children's innate sense of self-worth is systematically removed and replaced with a system in which only certain individuals are considered 'worthy', and even then only on a temporary basis. Imagine a society in which acceptance is systematically replaced with incessant judgement and comparison against other incomparable individuals or against some arbitrarily made up 'ideal'. Imagine sending your happy, innately intelligent and loving children to an institution where they are constantly pounded again and again with the idea that they are less than worthy unless they achieve this or attain that. Imagine watching as their wonderful innate sense of self-esteem is gradually harassed out of them. Imagine incessantly pushing them for the privilege. Imagine joining in with these damning judgements yourself at every given opportunity.

Have you recognised the society yet? Then you wonder why our children are "unmotivated".

Reply Posted by Larkin on Saturday March 1 2014 at 03:23
Of course, pushy parents might argue that a more relaxed approach would mean that our children would just sit about doing nothing and the world would grind to a halt within a generation. Ha! Have you ever tried to suggest to a vibrant, happy young child that they just sit about doing nothing? If you haven't, give it a try and see how long it lasts. What people often refer to as their children's 'intelligence and creativity' is not intelligence at all, but production or reproduction. We are going to produce this certain outcome. We are going to practice and drill until it is produced. That cannot be intelligence. If the outcome is known in advance, it must be something that has already been created by someone else and you are just copying or regurgitating them. You are just reproducing. Sing in this prescribed way. Play the instrument how the book tells you to. Paint like this artist. Dance the steps we tell you. Design whatever you like as long as it is not much different from these other designs. Read this and repeat in your own words. Maybe there is a bit of variation, maybe a new interpretation. Take what we already have and tweak it a little.

That is not intelligence. They even have exams! Ha! How can unique, incomparable creative intelligence be tested? Tested against what? Exams can examine one thing and one thing only - our ability to take someone else's ideas or methods and to imitate them.

The word 'achievement' is often heard in close proximity to the word 'success'.

My definition of success is very simple: are you happy right now?

If you are, then you are already living wonderfully successfully and have no need of the achievement drug. If you are not, then consider the possibility that you have been suckered in by those very cunning achievement pushers who have managed to destroy your unconditional love for life, curiosity, want for learning and for yourself and who keep calling you on to your next temporary fix. The reason I akin achievement to substance abuse is this: Imagine someone comes up to a person innate sense of self-worth or love for both themselves and others and offers them some heroin.

"Why should I take this heroin?" asks the first person.

"Because it will give you a temporary feeling of euphoria like nothing you have experienced," replies the pusher.

"What is euphoria?"

"It is a deep sense of happiness or well-being which only lasts for a short while."

"But I am already happy. Why would I need to become temporarily happy?"

In these circumstances the pusher would find it hard to sell to the happy person unless he took steps to first destroy his innate unconditional happiness and self acceptance. That is exactly what achievement pushers have to do as well. They have to first make you feel unworthy, not good enough. They have to first destroy your unconditional acceptance of yourself and others as unique, incomparable individuals. Only then can they get you hooked into the game. Only then can they interest you in the achievement drug or any drug for that matter.


Reply Posted by Teacher on Saturday April 6 2013 at 09:19
Anon, i agree with you totally. We may even work in the same school! I think the children are great - 'salt of the earth' but they have no motivation. It IS our job to motivate but with no back up from home it's an uphill battle. Ofsted don't really sympathise when they come in for a snap shot and say we are not getting the pupils to progress quickly enough! If half of them leave this summer with a maths and English gcse grade c or above I will be made up!

Reply Posted by x on Saturday April 6 2013 at 15:13
i think this downward trend with kids as definitely got worse since both sets of parents have been forced to go out to work,the days when a parent was at home and had time to sit with their kids as gone,i used to sit everyday with my kids and help them with any work they were struggling with,parents don't have the time anymore.yes kids see their parents going out and working hard but at what cost,the young miss out on essential time with parents,and the older ones are left to their own devices and a lot of them are given expensive gadgets as a way of making up for not being there.kids are having to be left for hours on end,good behaviour and respect are learnt from parents by children from an early age which sadly most parents dont have the time to do anymore

Reply Posted by Heather on Friday April 12 2013 at 09:18
My mother didn't work until Iwas14 and I never got any help from her. I am a single parent who works full time in a senior management role, my child is fully supported by me and only me at home and she is doing very well. You cannot bunch all the problems into one there are different motivations, social and economic issues to consider.

Reply Posted by Janine on Monday April 15 2013 at 17:11
Here Here Heather. There needs to be a common denominator to be able to bunch all problems into one, and the sooner people realise that common denominator the better..... Has anyone worked it out yet?

Reply Posted by mumstheword on Saturday April 6 2013 at 16:28
my daughter attends horizon I totally agree with above criticism lucky for my daughter she has a cooked evening meal not like some of her friends due to horrendous dinner timetable and lack of food most kids survive on panni or jst drink and cookies uniform rules are totally crazy one rule for one if your parents write a letter excusing you from p.e you still have to change and sit and watch err why get changed? school buses full of drivers with major attitudes and a total hatred of kids thats if there not crashing the bus I could go on ..... not the package horizon was advertised to be the new best thing I think I would of stuck with Kingston bless them

Reply Posted by S on Saturday June 29 2013 at 00:49
Mumstheword as hit the nail on the head..... Although I am a holgater... But yes I excused my daughter once and she came home saying she ad to get changed.... What is the point....

Reply Posted by Dawn on Saturday April 6 2013 at 17:30
@Teacher & anon

Which school do you teach?

Reply Posted by Robert on Monday April 8 2013 at 08:06
After reading all the threads, it appears this could be all solved with just one word which would be applicable to staff and pupils alone ~ DISCIPLINE

Reply Posted by Barry Smith on Monday April 8 2013 at 09:37
The problem is Robert Discipline has got a lot of these school into trouble. At Shafton ALC you are getting into the position of having more rules then pupils there. When you start saying children cannot walk on carpets because they might get muck on them, the world has gone mad. Plus Discipline has to work 2 ways, not only do pupils have to respect teachers BUT teacher have to respect pupils as well, and this is something lacking in a lot of school.

Reply Posted by Lisa on Monday April 8 2013 at 08:37
My child had to move from Doncaster Road primary due to us being bullied by another parent the school was well aware of the situation but chose to ignore it the same parents and child are still known for bullying but the school as done nothing to prevent it happening.Doncaster Road was a great school when my eldest was there but since the new senior management team took over they don't care about children just statistics.I now have to travel on a bus to Kendray even though I am only across the road from Doncaster Road.On a more positive note though my eldest attends Barnsley Academy and I have nothing but praise for all the staff there its an amazing school.

Reply Posted by Td on Monday April 8 2013 at 11:20
Highview PLC the best school ever. Ive had 4 kids go through different schools in Barnsley and this is the best by far. Teachers are fair and respected by the pupils and the pupils respect the teachers and other pupils. They have golden rules and the whole school abides by them and if they dont, the school deals with them fairly. The rules are postive - be nice, be kind - not DONT do this and DONT do that. Its positive all the way. Its a brilliant school

Reply Posted by JS on Monday April 8 2013 at 12:25
The problem with Shafton ALC is that we need a Headmaster who has experience in working with such a large school, pupils certainly do not work well been shouted at through a magaphone at the top of there voice, get off the carpets, walk on the left, you cannot use those stairs, my daughters friend said it was more like prison camp.and is counting the days off until she leaves

Reply Posted by me on Monday April 8 2013 at 16:41
i have 2 children at shafton alc 1 fits in 1 dosent my youngest is only allowed in school from 10am to 2 pm if he steps out of place he is sent home early i am trying to get a transfer but they are dragging their heels so he is losing 10 hrs of education every week i have been very supportive to them but everytime you call to speak to someone they are never available and take 2- 3 days to call you back if i decided to send him late and pick him up early i would be fined

Reply Posted by donna on Tuesday April 9 2013 at 12:47
Bit of a dodgy topic as we had letters sent out not in talk about the school on facebook and other media. Parent who do get hounded into the office and get a huge telling off from the head teacher!

What ever happened to the freedom of speech!!

So be warned! It could be u next if you name ans shame!!! Lol

Reply Posted by Janine on Monday April 15 2013 at 16:38
This is absolutely true what Donna has said about been 'hounded into the office for a huge telling off from the had teacher'.
Was there a police office present throughout this telling off Donna?
This has happened to parents at the school where my daughter attends.
It was not so much of a telling off, rather a threat to shut up or be prosecuted, which the police officer confirmed!!

Reply Posted by Barry Smith on Tuesday April 9 2013 at 17:05
Which school Donna?. Report it to ofsted, they are not allowed to do it.

Reply Posted by Janine on Monday April 15 2013 at 16:50
I am treading on unstable ground here, but when it happened at our school, it was all in defense of the primary head teacher, who had literaly told parents who had gone to her with concerns 'take your kids elsewhere', who constantly overstepped her mark by searching childrens lunch boxes and dictating what they were allowed to eat and not allowed to eat, and visibly took it out on the child whose parents had dared to complain!!
The head of the whole school backed her up and decieved parents who were invited in for a meeting, expecting to have their concerns adressed, and then been threatened, not to vent anything negative about the school on facebook, ( anything positive was ok) with a police officer present who condoned what the head said!!

Reply Posted by Anon on Friday April 12 2013 at 09:45
I attended Holgate and despite it not being the greatest of schools I did extremely well and absolutely adored my time there, mainly due to the fact I was motivated and knew that I needed to achieve high in order to get where I am now. My sister is currently attending Horizon Community College, it's successor and I am very worried about the school and how it will affect her leaving grades. She is extremely motivated and knows that she must do well but the school doesn't seem to be helping her along the way at all. One teacher said that the pupils are fantastic, yes they may well be, but this is not matched by a commensurate number of fantastic teaching staff members with the right mindset in my opinion. Many do not know their pupils, seem to have little enthusiasm and are not encouraging students to push themselves further. The stories I hear from various pupils are horrendous and priorities need sorting out ASAP. The school does seem to worry more about the appearance which it portrays to outsiders, rather than the education which it is delivering. One example, my sister hasn't had a permanent Maths teacher for the past 8 weeks now, with no advice as to whether a) he is off on long term sick leave b) he will be coming back or c) a permanent replacement will be given. She's had supplies, but these have come and gone too. When the proper teacher has been in school, he has regularly 'forgotten' that he has had a class in the specific hour, and the pupils have been left in the classroom alone. I could go on forever and I'm sure others could as I am yet to hear a bout of positivity from any parent, sibling or relative with someone at the school. I'm sure if Ofsted were to do a surprise attendance at the school they would see that it is not up to scratch at all. Everything I hear about the school seems negative at the minute and if students were asked, in confidence, i'm sure that 99% of them would agree.

Reply Posted by Anon on Monday April 15 2013 at 16:46
I cannot agree more with anon above. My child is in year 8, but spent his first year at Kingstone. The teaching standards at Horizon are appalling. They're boasting that this schools cost £50k and how fantastic it is - it's not the bricks and mortar that make a school it's the teaching staff and the quality of teaching. My child too has had 8 maths teachers since starting back after February half term, on one occasion the teacher couldn't get the class to settle down and finished up getting the head of maths to settle the class. Teachers are supposed to have a 5 minute rule to settle kids, however this can take upto 15 minutes and when the lesson is only an hour long the kids arent learning anything. The teachers are quick to dish out detentions and take planners off kids to comment in for the least little thing. My child spent his Easter holidays working on a 20 page English assignment, marvellous when they don't get any homework during the week. We have a parents evening this week, the first since they started in september - I feel that this is unacceptable when kids are struggling in subjects, and they're nearly ready for leaving their year. How does this help the kids? They seriously need to get their act together. I hope Nick Bowens reading these comments!!!!!

Reply Posted by me on Monday April 15 2013 at 18:30
darton collage is a nitemare school no home work that get achivement point 4 there uniform being good and silly other things but yet not 4 there work my sons school books some havent even b marked and others that r marked in red coz its wrong or hes not done enough are never checked the teachers r a joke

Reply Posted by amy on Monday April 15 2013 at 20:24
Both my children go t hunningley lane we've got 2 heads 1 of whom is also head at bank end from this happening the school as gone downhill fast they dont listen when a child is been bullied, r checkin lunch boxes,av a psa who thinks its ok t down talk t parents so most ppl can't approach her as she dick tates most things said t her the list goes on n i sure as hell wish my children didnt go there but i wudnt dream of sending them t Kendray either

Reply Posted by Babs on Tuesday April 16 2013 at 12:29
My daughter is supposed to be going to Shafton alc in a couple of years but if things don't improve we will be taking her elsewhere,also if you're not directly mentioning the names of teachers etc you can't be prosecuted and considering Shafton alc is already under special measures then they should understand that people are going to have an opinion about their child's education and welfare.Seems to me that wanting to make it an academy is taking precedence over the children's needs and well-being which is not what it was built for.ive heard that the bullying and how they deal with it is horrendous so I will be thinking twice before sending my daughter there and all my sympathy and best wishes to the kids who go there now.

Reply Posted by Michelle on Tuesday April 16 2013 at 20:34
I totally DISAGREE with the comment from me .
My daughter has moved schools from Ccc to Darton and its the best thing we did for her . I have no complaints with staff pupils or her education . In fact her education has gone up and that's all i am interested in as her mother . I have also got a son attending there in September.
I can't pull this school down at all not like her last school that was atrocious .

Reply Posted by shaz on Tuesday April 16 2013 at 22:20
excellent gramar

Reply Posted by ANON on Thursday April 18 2013 at 10:55
For all the negative comments on here regarding the schools of Barnsley. Firstly, I am a firm believer in everything starts from home, schools have a job to do to teach our kids, some do it better than others. This happens in the majority of areas around the country, maybe with the exception of affluent areas. Barnsley has a major cultural problem that needs addressing ASAP. Some parents need to take more of a responsibility when thinking about having their children. In many cases it's been far to easy to get pregnant, have a child and live of the state. Deprivation, and the lack of jobs does not help either in this area. Unfortunately it's the minority of incidents that happen in our schools that blows everything out of proportion. For every negative comment there will be a positive one for the majority of our schools in Barnsley. What people don't relaise is teaching has become extremely difficult in the past few years. Local and National government policies have made if harder for teachers to discipline kids in their schools and virtually have their hands tied. I would like to see more parents ge tinvolved with their childs learning, the vast majority of parents will be doing this already, but there will be always a minority who put the blame elswhere. These people and you know who you are, prefer to sit on their backsides and do nothing, prefer to watch Emmerdale, Coronation Street and Holyoaks rather than support their child with homework and general family talk. Please may i remind you all who reads this i say it's a MINORITY of people who give out these negative comments. The vast majority of parents are doing a great job. Just bear a thought, if someone told you as a parent you were doing a crap job and you were useless, how would that make you feel?. There is no majic answer to our education system or the NHS or the travel industry, but we as parents need to take more ownership of our responsibilities and our duties to our children and community. Being a parent is the hardest job i have ever done and i know those parents reading this will agree. Instead of bad mouthing everything that doesn't seem to have apositive effect on your lives or your kids, try a different approach for once and see if that makes a little difference. Kids are not born bad, they are not born to misbehave. it's up to the parents or carers to do the best job they can to ensure their kids have a decent start in life ans learnt he values of disciopline and behavour. If some parents can't control their kids behaviour or their is lack of discipline because there was no rule book when their child was born to tell you how to raise your child or you just can't be bothered because it's too much trouble, then don't blame other poeple or institutions. Get behind our schools and lets show some commitment from a parents point of view. Do your very best for your kids, believe in them, reward them more often and praise them istead of pulling them down or telling them there no good or useless and i will gurantee you there will be a change in their behaviour and outlook on life. Be a role model for them to look up to, give them guidance and aspire them to achieve, take more responsibility. Like i said earlier this is aimed at the minority of people who are quick to blame other people or institutions for their own lack of resposibility towards their kids. Get it right at home and the schools will have an easier job to teach your kids.

Reply Posted by ANON on Thursday April 18 2013 at 11:46
Well said to the above poster. I totally agree with everything you say. Too many bad parents in Barnsley that just can't be bothered and that have a bad influence on their kids. This envitably has a knock on effect with their childs learning in schools as they are often disengaged in their education because parents can't be bothered at home. I as a parent do my best for my 2 children, i admittedly don't get it right all the time but i make sure i try my best for my kids and family.
Just a pointer on the negative comments that have been aimed at our schools especially Horizon CC. I work in this school and can honestly say it's a very good school to learn and work in. Yes there have been major changes, yes it will not have sut pretty with some teachers, parents or children, but the headmaster and his team are doing a very good job putting in place standards that people need to adhere to whether or not it seesm petty about school uniform or colour of hair. Parents are well informed about school policies and it's once again their responsibility to make sure their kids adhere to these standards and procedures, if you don't like them take your kids elswhere and stop moaning about petty little things to escuse misbehaving or discipline issues. Give the headmaster and his team a little time to embed standards procedures and i will bet anyone that the schools GCSE grades will go up, attainmnet will improve and children will have a happy learning environment to prosper in.
I agree with the above writer, all the blame should not be aimed at schools, parents and carers need to do their bit. Some of you on here who are quick to putll establishments down or point the finger at someone else, ask yourself this, am i doing the best i can for my kids, am i a good parent, do i take resposibility and ownership of being a parent. If you answer no to any of the above then the real problem could lie with YOU as a parent not our schools or teachers.

Reply Posted by Claire on Friday May 3 2013 at 20:05
Horizon Community College est GCSE grades this year look really good. Well done to Nick Bowen and all the staff at Horizon

Reply Posted by Angry Parent .... on Wednesday July 3 2013 at 11:32
I have children about to go up to Shafton Alc,it is about to become an academy and the uniform is changing, that's fine no problem with that. It looks quite smart I think? but we are being told we must buy othe trousers and skirts from their uniform supplier at double the price of the local stores around here. Its ridiculous and costly enough! I don't mind uniform or paying for it at all, but I certainly do not appreciate being ripped off!

Reply Posted by vixen on Monday July 15 2013 at 08:53
UNBELIEVABLE!!!!! i have read all the negative comments on here about teachers uniforms shoes hair etc and i cant believe what im reading i work in a Barnsley school (not a teacher) and if alot of the parents who complain about the mundane matters could come into one of the schools that you are complaining about just for a day you would never complain again infact you would award some of the staff for the good work they do and coping with the minority of pupils who disrupt the every day running of the school.
i agree with the comments about parents/carers taking a more active role in the every day education of their kids. its not a big ask a child needs to carry on learning at home.
the parents that have issues with sending kids to school in the correct attire should realise that it is a life long lesson to follow rules. uniforms are worn in most aspects of life and employees wont tolerate disregard of uniform policies everyone from police, carers, dustbin men, doctors, nurses etc to name a few even teachers have to abide by wearing smart clothes nothing revealing etc so kids should learn at an early age that its the right thing to do no jeans no trainers no pink hair why is it so hard?????
another matter if your child cant behave in school it is not the fault of the school. discipline has gone out the window and our hands are tied because parents dont think their little darlings can do anything wrong. well let me be the first to tell you your little darlings arent the angels you make out they are!!! wake up...

Reply Posted by catherine t on Thursday October 17 2013 at 22:33
Our daughter attends Worsborough Common Infant and Junior School. The teachers are quite strict when it comes to disciplining the children. There is a big emphasis on teaching maths and english and IT. My collegue has a son six months older than my daughter and attends another school, the work the children are asked to do is much less demanding. His son cannot recognise letters and short words that my daughter has learnt at her school using "phonics" in the 6 weeks that she has attended. She has plenty of homework to do.There is good communication from the school to the parents via newsletters, text messages and website. The school seems to have excellent learning resources in the form of books, iPads and craft materials. Our daughter is a bright girl and is thriving at this school. The area is poor compared to a lot of other areas but the other parents appear to be respectful to each other. My experience of Worsborough Common is excellent and I feel it thoroughly deserves its Offstead rating.




Reply Posted by catherine t on Thursday October 17 2013 at 22:42
Sorry, that is Worsbrough Common and Ofsted. I

Reply Posted by --NO NAME -- on Friday November 22 2013 at 22:03
Netherwood is stupid. Getting done for some low life ruining uniform then me getting done for it! Talk about stupidity that head teacher needs sack he doesn't know what he's doing. He calls a "emergancy" meeting because people wear coats and use phones. Wow that the worst this ever. God get a grip or go!

Reply Posted by Jason on Friday November 29 2013 at 11:46
WE SOON OPENING SOON IN THE TOWN CENTRE OF BARNSLEY TOWN CENTRE WE WILL BEAT ANYONE ON COST OF ANY SCHOOL UNIFORM IN BARNSLEY
WWW.THEUNIFORMCENTRE.C.UK

Reply Posted by Tracy on Monday December 2 2013 at 19:03
Tired of school my child goes to not dealing with the real issues of bullying, behaviour and education! Everything swept under carpet so the school "looks good" for Ofsted. The last Ofsted report was so bad I didn't even recognise the school my child has attended for the last 6 years. I know lots of parents who contributed and gave the inspection team lots of evidence.....to no avail, non of it was reflected in the report. I have no faith in Ofsted or the school. Every time you raise av issue there is a stock response, "if you don't like the school you can always take your child somewhere else". What happened to working with and listening to parents? Working together to resolve issues instead of being told to take your child elsewhere.......yet Osted seems happy for this to happen. Wonder if that's actually a policy????

Reply Posted by Lucy Kirby on Monday January 20 2014 at 10:11
I am a pupil at holy trinty now due to being bullied at some schools I had some respect of some teachers such as Netherwood fantastic with bulling but couldn't find the ring leader of the situation iv gone through a very lot and still am my mum being in the school many times sort bulling out nothing getting resolved with the people who are bulling so my mum took it further ahead to the police as I got smacked last Tuesday at school and the school decided she's not being punished which is wrong I am unsafe at school don't feel that I am doing well nomore and hateing school life all I want is to go to school and get my grades! But some cruel girls around and schools not taking bulling serous but leaving it in a big hole for it to carry one they need some respect for us.

Reply Posted by kim on Monday January 20 2014 at 10:58
I have a daughter who attends St Joseph's Nursery on Doncaster Road until September and then she will be attending Holy Trinity, Cherrydale or Carlton School. I must say reading these comments I am worried. My daughter is thriving with a brilliant nursery/home combination of learning and I am so apprehensive that she will be selected to go to a school where bullying is rife and education is lax. I, like I assume most parents want the best start for their child and I am concerned that all the hard work I and her school have put into our daughter may be unravelled when she moves on ;-(

Reply Posted by Larkin on Saturday March 1 2014 at 02:25
What do you mean Barnsley is lacking in adequate education. Look how well churns out alphas, betas, deltas and an epsilon of minuses!

Reply Posted by Larkin on Saturday March 1 2014 at 03:44
Logic is quite simple. You can be as (or arguably more) enlightened, inspired and intellectually stimulated by parting with a few sheckles and spending time wisely in a decent library, rather than having a group of people who bend to bureaucracy pepper you with half-arsed volleys of subjectivity and repetitive, truncated conjecture.

Or not.

No motivation needs establishment orthodoxy. If you are genuinely interested in learning (about anything), then it is pretty much free from conformity.

If you wish to have the parameters of your existence defined by a career - then good luck to you; but that isn't 'education'; that is self-programming. There's more than a subtle difference.

If you want to earn lots of money - frankly with hard graft and a decent sense of direction, ANYONE can get ANYWHERE.

The day I stopped my formal education (and christ knows I've been up to my arse in it) was the day I started learning a thing or two. Few things are more dangerous than being told what 'one ought to read'.

Schooling or getting a degree isn't proof of knowledge or intelligence; it is proof of attendance and an acknowledgement of the fact that we have been accepting enough to absorb just enough information to convince a total stranger of our aptitude in a niche area.

In truth..., it depends on your motivation. If you are motivated by money, then the last thing you need is a degree. If you simply want to learn something, the last thing you need is a degree or an institution that berates you on your appearance. If you want a particular job where you feel said expensive piece of paper is a pre-requisite, so be it; spend away, but realise that you're not being 'educated', simply optimised to measure up to society's understanding of what this niche area 'should' be capable of.

So let me end by regurgitating this!

"It is because modern education is so seldom inspired by a great hope that it so seldom achieves great results. The wish to preserve the past rather that the hope of creating the future dominates the minds of those who control the teaching of the young."
Bertrand Russell

Reply Posted by Harry on Friday March 7 2014 at 19:07
At Horizon you can get away with just about anything. You migt get told off but nothing really happens. We have a lad in our year who had a **** in one of the corridors and hes still here.

Reply Posted by Harry on Monday March 10 2014 at 17:22
Ups ! I used a bad word. I should have said poo.

Reply Posted by Just a TA on Saturday April 5 2014 at 11:30
I have read these comments and feel that even just as a TA, all angles in these debates have to be heard. Not just a TA, I'm a parent too, one of my children has a condition on the spectrum so I feel I can speak from 2 perspectives, a parent and a Teaching assistant.
When I was younger at school, there was only a teacher in the classroom to manage a full class, behavioural issues when you feared being sent to the headmaster and conditions might have been seen as behavioural and not recognised properly. How times have changed! Now in my experience as a teaching assistant, we have training to cover a wide range of issues including safe guarding and just as a parent alone to see what it tackles, the abuse side that some children can be exposed too is devastating and protecting children remains a schools priority. I know some comments on here, parents feel let down that their school has not done enough and I am sorry to hear that but cant speak for those schools. I work in a school in Barnsley and I know that I work amongst teachers and teaching assistants who work with a determination to make sure they do their best for the children they work with. Our school has gone through a lot of changes and not forgetting that we are human to, we have done our best to remain firm and put the children first. In my experiences as a TA, just getting qualified to support my role was a challenge but over the years it has changed. We now have to be qualified to restrain a child, to prevent them harming themselves and someone else. Biting, spitting, being kicked, nipped, stopping children from fighting in classrooms and in the playground are the reasons that restraint handling are being implemented and might in place in most schools. Primarily we are here to support learning but we are now faced with tackling so many issues and we always have to rise above it, reflect on best practices and from our mistakes. It's not just issues from children, I have been on the receiving end of parents, once it was quite upsetting but yet have to brush aside and carry on, just from homework not being completed.
In every school, there will be some unhappy parents, possibly justified and I'm not here to comment on those, I don't think that will be achieved but remain hopeful that it can be.
If my personal circumstances allowed me, I would like to teach as sometimes I can cover a class if the teacher has a meeting and enjoy engaging the children. The one aspect I wouldn't enjoy is having to take the books home and devote a quarter of my weekend marking books that meetings etc during the week after school have taken up. A lot of these teachers are also parents too but still put time aside and do things at home, prepare resources and mark. I've even been shopping for resources and driven my husband daft, he fails to understand the outside commitment bit but supports me.
Behaviour is a challenge that all schools have to face daily, from child that thinks learning is boring, the one that decides they don't want to sit in the class any longer, get up and walks out on their own accord, the one who misunderstands another child's tap for an excuse to hit them back, social situations overwhelming, the one who feels embarrassed or unhappy and the thought of coming into school is too much. We have not just a learning aspect to consider, its the social and emotional well being of a child we have to consider. Not to mention the issues social media sites Facebook, Instagram, Xbox live with 18+ games (even primary children) and other sites that enable children to exchange insults. What benefit does an 18+ game based on violence and theft have on a young child, younger than 11? apart from keeping them quiet whilst you watch Coronation street? Once upon a time the insults were scratched onto a desk, toilet door or notes passed around a class but now a child is now at risk on all these sites and can spiral out of control. Even parents/carers can resort to Facebook to handle their child's issues and in school we have a team that have to liaise to resolve this. It is so difficult now to be a child growing up and I really do sympathise with them, the challenges they face are greater than ever. Schools try to match the trend by having a Facebook site but these sites can have parents/carers using it for alternative uses other than supporting the school and the comments from them alone have to reported.
We desperately want the children to learn and achieve all the outcomes of Every Child Matters but a lot of planning and supporting has to take into consideration all aspects of a child's life have to be taken into consideration. Abilities and attitudes of each child are considered and we work together. Bullying is an awful situation and your child's school will have policies they conform to, protecting all those involved. Moving schools is the last resort that any school will want but sometimes a parent will feel it is necessary. We also want to know why a child bullies, they too, might have reasons they might not be aware of as to why they bully. Schools will work with authorities to make sure the parent and child are protected but I have no answer as to where it fails.
Uniforms are a godsend to many parents/carers, creates a balance of equality for children, eases pressure off those who cannot afford to clothe and keep up with clothing/trends/peer pressure, all the hassles that non-uniforms can bring. Yet we have to tackle unhappy parents that don't label uniforms, complain their child has lost their 10th jumper this term, don't understand why their child couldn't take part in outdoor PE session because they were asked to provide suitable footwear, missed Friday playtime because they failed to wear a tie all week or not had playtime with their friends because their summer jacket wouldn't protect them from the winter's elements. Ignore numerous letters to pay for their child's dinner monies because they know that we will not let their child starve but yet complain over a missing PE kit or a minor fallout their child has had. Homework, an agreement between school and home, a chance to sit with their child, see what they are learning, see their progress and see what they can do but some parents/carers don't see what benefit half an hour with their child do but then the parent/carer will complain to us that they don't have time or its too difficult, talk to us, that's what we are here for.
When you see comments about your school's or potential schools on here, remember that these might not be the overall opinion of everyone, that those of us who work in school's have your child's best interest at heart and we genuinely want them to do well. This is their chance to learn, understand the world around them, other and more importantly realise their potential, understanding themselves and who they want to be.
I have learn't a lot over the years in my experience as a parent and a TA. It's a role that we have to keep upto date with changes, adapting, reflecting and learning, wondering what the government has in store for us next, legislation changing and wondering what changes we will be subjected too. Sometimes our hands are tied, not because we feel they are tied, we know they are tied. Changes are happening to education beyond the school's control and this is so frustrating, probably in my opinion, the ones making the decisions sit back and make the changes but don't come into school and see the impacts.
We don't always get it right but we give it our best!!

Reply Posted by anonymus on Friday September 12 2014 at 20:23
I attend Netherwood school in the year 9, the teaching is slack and i have been wanting to move ever since year 7 (when tge school first opened) t most teachers are nice and wanting to teach but they cannot handle the students there... most of my friends have moved to different schools because the rules are obviousley so stupid...The school is so strict on what we look like they photo shopped some peopkes school pictures (they photoshopped my friends freckles, and all her makeup they also photoshopped a spot off my forehead. ) im not complaining about me being photoshopped but they had no right to photoshop my friends freckles! Theres strict and then theres netherwood! That s hool is out of order!!!!

Reply Posted by Kirsty on Monday October 10 2016 at 03:58
Personally as a student at netherwood alc,I think it is absolutely stupid that I get sent home for my trousers,because school say they are too skinny personally I think that we should be allowed to wear whatever trousers we wanted because surely learning would be better if we did.Also I think that the rules are stupid it is one rule for one another rule for the other as me and my friend both get sent home for our school trousers so then I went home and parents phoned up the school,my mum wouldn't believe what she was hearing,the head telling her that he had no choice but to send me home as my school trousers were too skinny.i started netherwood from it first opening but personally I honk that they should have just kept wombwell and Darfield separate because then bullying might not be such an issue also I was being bullied and so was some other girls in my year we went and reported it to the head teacher and he did jotting about it but yet in assembly he gets on about how bad students react to teachers but yet when students have problem and they report them nothing happen my mum went into school and spoke to my head of year and told her what was happening and she said that she would sort it out and have a word with those bullying me but the next day I went into school and they started saying things to me and calling me names again I went and reported it by the head said that no further action could be taken as I didn't have any evidence even though I had steady given him past printed emails of what the girls were saying.i was disappointed with this reaction and would defently not recommend this school to anyone as I think that it doesn't meet the high standards that every other high school mets e.g. Shafton ALC and horizon.