September 29th, 2016

Row breaks out over Waseley Hills High School options

Row breaks out over Waseley Hills High School options Row breaks out over Waseley Hills High School options
Updated: 3:45 pm, May 12, 2015

A ROW has broken out between the headteacher of Waseley Hills High School and the parents after five subjects were dropped from the GCSE timetable.

The Standard was contacted by a number of disappointed mums and dads on behalf of their children after the decisions were taken on option choices for year nine students. Some parents have even said they were now looking at moving their children to a different school.

Mums and dads have claimed the layout and structure of the system was ‘misleading’ and were infuriated with the lack of core subjects available compared to other high schools in the area, which they claim puts their children at a disadvantage.

Claims have been made the move was down to financial issues but headteacher Alan Roll refuted that, saying it was because there was not enough demand for some subjects.

Mr Roll said they were restricted by tight budget constraints and had less funding than other schools in nearby areas but all Bromsgrove schools were facing the same problems, so they were not unique to Waseley.

Parents also voiced concerns over the limited options making it hard for their children to complete the English Baccalaureate (EB). And, they said the layout made it difficult to do a combination of a language, tradition humanity subject and triple science or computing.

Mr Roll said when the option programme was devised, it was done so pupils could take the EB but there was little demand in some of those subject areas.

Mums and dads with other children who had gone onto further education were concerned because of the lack of traditional subjects that were held in high esteem with universities.

Some claimed other schools in the area could offer a range of subjects and questioned why Waseley could not.

One parent said their son wanted to do either history or geography but was told he could not and must choose business and RPE.

Another parent said their child wanted to do music but was told the GCSEs would not be run at all this year because only 11 students wanted to it and a minimum of 15 were needed to run the subject.

Mr Roll said: “We were really disappointed we were not able to run music this year as in previous years they had done so very successfully but we cannot just run it for 11 students.”

He added they had done nothing different to previous years and normally the demand for subjects was a lot more spread out, unlike this year.

Mr Roll said the choices selected by students shaped the way the timetable was developed and it had to be done based on what the majority of students wanted.

The classes which will be effected include geography, drama, media studies and ICT.

Some parents were also unhappy with the little ‘redress’ for those unsatisfied with their option choices. A group of parents have made an official complaint to the school’s board of governors and some have even met with Sajid Javid, the Minister for Culture, Media and Sport, to discuss the issue.

Mr Javid confirmed he had been contacted by a number of Waseley Hills High parents about the issue.

“I understand this is a difficult situation for both students and parents.

“I have discussed this issue and possible solutions with the headteacher and I will also raise it with the Secretary of State for Education if necessary.”

Parent wanting to voice their views on the options to e-mail