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I spent Monday 9 March at the BBC Radio 5 Live studio where I had the chance to listen to the documentary Annabel Deas has put together.  I think it is a balanced piece of work that highlights the issues she set out to consider and charts the lives of the four individuals whom are the main focus throughout.  School is presented in a very positive light; there is no criticism, only praise through a depiction of the challenges faced when trying to provide an education for students whose lives do not allow for engagement with education.  Featured members of staff who still work at our school are: 

  • SCL
  • RDJ
  • FSC
  • RDA
  • AMA

The school is named as are some other members of staff.  I asked Annabel about where we stand if anyone featured  was now uncomfortable with this but it is too late to change at this stage.  I’m assured there was a window of opportunity given after any interview to retract or change things that were said.  As established above, the school is depicted in a very positive light.  Dani Samuel features regularly throughout and there is a snippet of Portia Taylor included towards the end.

All names of students/family members have been changed; I don’t think any could be identified without knowing them directly or having been closely involved with them.  For confidentiality, should you know who any of them are, I would strongly advise no discussing the identity of the individuals with anyone.  The programme has been through stringent legal filtering.

The first three episodes will be available on BBC Sounds during the course of the next few days with the other four episodes being serialised.  There will be clips played on the Emma Barnett show which airs on Radio 5 Live between 10am and 1pm on weekdays.  Annabel thinks that the full podcast may be broadcast – in episodes –  on this station overnight.  A link to BBC Sounds is below – scroll down to read the blurb.

I am considering whether to communicate about the podcast with stakeholders and am taking advice to this regard.  It highlights societal issues that have been brought very clearly into focus with the events of this week but these are extreme cases.  Given the opportunity, we should always emphasise how the vast majority of our students come to school to learn and that our school is a harmonious, positive place to be.

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