Sir Thomas Picton headteacher sent out completed consultation forms to parents

PEMBROKESHIRE County Council has insisted that an important consultation into the future of secondary education in Haverfordwest will not be skewed by thousands of completed response forms sent out by a local headteacher.

Pembrokeshire County Council is currently reviewing secondary education in Haverfordwest which is likely to lead to a major shake-up, including the potential closure of both Sir Thomas Picton and Tasker Milward Schools.

Last week Dr Nick Poole, headteacher of Sir Thomas Picton School (STP), sent a letter home to the parents and carers of the school’s 1,184 pupils.

It urged parents to support either the closure of Tasker Milward School and the transfer of pupils to STP or the development of a new 11-19 Welsh medium school on the site of STP.

But eyebrows were raised by the fact that Dr Poole’s letter was also accompanied by a copy of the council’s preliminary consultation response form - with the options already ticked and other information supporting STP also filled out.

Dr Poole urged parents and carers to sign the response forms and return them to the council.

The response form had ‘strongly disagree’ ticked alongside the options to retain the status quo, establish a federation school on the existing school sites or close both schools and create a single ‘super school’ on a new site.

But it had ‘agree’ ticked alongside option 5: closing Tasker Milward School with pupils transferring to STP and ‘strongly agree’ to option 6, the closure of Tasker Milward with pupils transferring to STP and catchment boundaries being changed.

Option 8, to establish a new 11-19 Welsh-medium provision in Haverfordwest with sixth form provision to be provided at Ysgol y Preseli, had ‘strongly agree’ marked. That was also put forward as the preferred option.

Under question 13 – an explanation of why the preferred option had been put forward, the form was already filled out to say: “Sir Thomas Picton School is an excellent school with a very good reputation. The name of the school needs to be continued for the secondary school in Haverfordwest. Sir Thomas Picton School is a band 2 school with a good ERW (Education through Regional Working) classification.”

A statement issued by STP school said: “The school values the opinion of and wishes to engage all relevant parties in the consultation process. As a result, letters have been sent to parents keeping them informed of the procedure.

“During the initial stages of consultation, parents requested the views of the governing body as they wished to support the school.

“These views were sought and were communicated to parents in a letter together with the consultation form.

“This letter advised parents of the preferred options of the governing body should they wish to support them.

“They were also provided with a link to the consultation documents should they wish to view all alternatives and respond as they felt appropriate.

“The opportunity this reorganisation offers the community of Haverfordwest is of upmost importance to the school.

“We continue to be passionate in encouraging all the school community to have a voice shaping the future of education for our young people.”

Tasker Milward VC School headteacher Maggie Haynes said: “We are committed at Tasker Milward to providing the very best educational experience we can for all our children and it is in this spirit we have approached this initial consultation exercise.

“We have critically examined the various options, looking in detail at the pros and cons of each and have encouraged our parents and pupils do the same.”

A spokesman for Pembrokeshire County Council said: “The Local Authority is aware of the letters and will review the responses received in respect of the consultation to ensure that there is no prejudicial influence.

“It should be noted that at this stage the Local Authority is collecting views rather than consulting on particular proposals and that if there is a decision to move to the next stage then the statutory consultation then the monitoring of responses will be rigorous.

“Clearly we want parents to make informed responses, and the two public consultation events in Haverfordwest were very well attended.”

Comments (10)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

6:50pm Fri 28 Mar 14

The Tithe Exchange says...

The Western Telegraph comment column says it all. Tasker Milward has provided a carefully considered and detailed response to the consultation exercise and has placed no undue pressure on any participants or interested parties who may themselves respond. The future education system for some 2000 Haverfordwest students is of paramount importance in this process.
The Western Telegraph comment column says it all. Tasker Milward has provided a carefully considered and detailed response to the consultation exercise and has placed no undue pressure on any participants or interested parties who may themselves respond. The future education system for some 2000 Haverfordwest students is of paramount importance in this process. The Tithe Exchange
  • Score: 27

7:22pm Fri 28 Mar 14

seaveiw says...

This headmaster for some reason seems to have decided what the outcome of the consultation should b,hope the council do keep there promise not to allow the results to be skewed. Those identified responses as coming from parents and guardians influenced by him should be declared as void and destroyed.
This headmaster for some reason seems to have decided what the outcome of the consultation should b,hope the council do keep there promise not to allow the results to be skewed. Those identified responses as coming from parents and guardians influenced by him should be declared as void and destroyed. seaveiw
  • Score: 16

9:34pm Fri 28 Mar 14

Tttoommy says...

seaveiw wrote:
This headmaster for some reason seems to have decided what the outcome of the consultation should b,hope the council do keep there promise not to allow the results to be skewed. Those identified responses as coming from parents and guardians influenced by him should be declared as void and destroyed.
Sorry to raise this BUT I cannot but help think about a poor lad who died in the Pembroke's School grounds - what did the headteacher there say ?
We should not pre-judge the outcome into the investigation ( and That's taking a VERY long time) - the next breath the head master tells us it was not because of bullying as there's absolutely no bullying at HIS sKool - spot the "fail" in logic there?
[quote][p][bold]seaveiw[/bold] wrote: This headmaster for some reason seems to have decided what the outcome of the consultation should b,hope the council do keep there promise not to allow the results to be skewed. Those identified responses as coming from parents and guardians influenced by him should be declared as void and destroyed.[/p][/quote]Sorry to raise this BUT I cannot but help think about a poor lad who died in the Pembroke's School grounds - what did the headteacher there say ? We should not pre-judge the outcome into the investigation ( and That's taking a VERY long time) - the next breath the head master tells us it was not because of bullying as there's absolutely no bullying at HIS sKool - spot the "fail" in logic there? Tttoommy
  • Score: -6

5:15am Sat 29 Mar 14

AdmiralFoley says...

This isn't a referendum, where the option with the highest number of votes will become a reality. It's a tick-box exercise in every sense of the word. PCC isn't asking our opinion because it's stuck and doesn't know what to do. It just needs to tick a box to confirm that members of the public have been consulted.

Think about it - how many laypeople know what a 'federation' is? How much information was given about the possible outcomes of each scenario in terms of cost, how pupils would benefit, knock-on effects on staffing and transport issues? If PCC really wanted to bring people in to the decision-making process, this is information they would have shared.

So the head of STP took it upon himself to demystify this process in response to parents' requests, and highlighted the options that would be in the best interests of STP pupils. Please explain why this is such a terrible thing?
This isn't a referendum, where the option with the highest number of votes will become a reality. It's a tick-box exercise in every sense of the word. PCC isn't asking our opinion because it's stuck and doesn't know what to do. It just needs to tick a box to confirm that members of the public have been consulted. Think about it - how many laypeople know what a 'federation' is? How much information was given about the possible outcomes of each scenario in terms of cost, how pupils would benefit, knock-on effects on staffing and transport issues? If PCC really wanted to bring people in to the decision-making process, this is information they would have shared. So the head of STP took it upon himself to demystify this process in response to parents' requests, and highlighted the options that would be in the best interests of STP pupils. Please explain why this is such a terrible thing? AdmiralFoley
  • Score: -17

11:39am Sat 29 Mar 14

seaveiw says...

AdmiralFoley wrote:
This isn't a referendum, where the option with the highest number of votes will become a reality. It's a tick-box exercise in every sense of the word. PCC isn't asking our opinion because it's stuck and doesn't know what to do. It just needs to tick a box to confirm that members of the public have been consulted.

Think about it - how many laypeople know what a 'federation' is? How much information was given about the possible outcomes of each scenario in terms of cost, how pupils would benefit, knock-on effects on staffing and transport issues? If PCC really wanted to bring people in to the decision-making process, this is information they would have shared.

So the head of STP took it upon himself to demystify this process in response to parents' requests, and highlighted the options that would be in the best interests of STP pupils. Please explain why this is such a terrible thing?
Sorry to disagree with you.It isn't up to any particular person to direct others to vote in any particular way, to demystify the process.This has happened recently in Ukraine this scenario that has happened at STP can be likened to that, dictatorship not informed choice. I agree the document should have been more concise with more information available let us hope that will happen later in the consultation. Meanwhile would this headmaster agree with me that the outcome of the Estyn report which is due this year may not be as favourable as the one done four years ago, and to which TM is compared. The heads of other schools are not behaving in such a belligerent way
[quote][p][bold]AdmiralFoley[/bold] wrote: This isn't a referendum, where the option with the highest number of votes will become a reality. It's a tick-box exercise in every sense of the word. PCC isn't asking our opinion because it's stuck and doesn't know what to do. It just needs to tick a box to confirm that members of the public have been consulted. Think about it - how many laypeople know what a 'federation' is? How much information was given about the possible outcomes of each scenario in terms of cost, how pupils would benefit, knock-on effects on staffing and transport issues? If PCC really wanted to bring people in to the decision-making process, this is information they would have shared. So the head of STP took it upon himself to demystify this process in response to parents' requests, and highlighted the options that would be in the best interests of STP pupils. Please explain why this is such a terrible thing?[/p][/quote]Sorry to disagree with you.It isn't up to any particular person to direct others to vote in any particular way, to demystify the process.This has happened recently in Ukraine this scenario that has happened at STP can be likened to that, dictatorship not informed choice. I agree the document should have been more concise with more information available let us hope that will happen later in the consultation. Meanwhile would this headmaster agree with me that the outcome of the Estyn report which is due this year may not be as favourable as the one done four years ago, and to which TM is compared. The heads of other schools are not behaving in such a belligerent way seaveiw
  • Score: 14

12:18am Mon 31 Mar 14

Concerned_one says...

A couple of things here:
1, The council has surveyed BTs site at Hawthorne RIse, as an allegedly potential new school site recently.
2, The Letter from the Headmaster was apparently also sent out to local Junior schools asking how many pre-filled response forms they would like for parents of children due to move up to secondary school.
3. This is also pushed at STP school assemblies with their pupils with great fervour.

A lot of other little dictators throughout history started like this, protecting their little empire with the best of intentions, fair enough, fight for your school, but don't forget this is a democracy and once you are outside the school gate, and we have freedom to make our own choices!
A couple of things here: 1, The council has surveyed BTs site at Hawthorne RIse, as an allegedly potential new school site recently. 2, The Letter from the Headmaster was apparently also sent out to local Junior schools asking how many pre-filled response forms they would like for parents of children due to move up to secondary school. 3. This is also pushed at STP school assemblies with their pupils with great fervour. A lot of other little dictators throughout history started like this, protecting their little empire with the best of intentions, fair enough, fight for your school, but don't forget this is a democracy and once you are outside the school gate, and we have freedom to make our own choices! Concerned_one
  • Score: 21

10:27am Mon 31 Mar 14

seaveiw says...

Concerned_one wrote:
A couple of things here:
1, The council has surveyed BTs site at Hawthorne RIse, as an allegedly potential new school site recently.
2, The Letter from the Headmaster was apparently also sent out to local Junior schools asking how many pre-filled response forms they would like for parents of children due to move up to secondary school.
3. This is also pushed at STP school assemblies with their pupils with great fervour.

A lot of other little dictators throughout history started like this, protecting their little empire with the best of intentions, fair enough, fight for your school, but don't forget this is a democracy and once you are outside the school gate, and we have freedom to make our own choices!
Hope the council has not pre-empted the results, maybe the Head knows more than we do.Also I have heard about him contacting Junior schools.This man has only been in this area for as short time he is not acting for the good outcome for education in Pembrokeshire but to save his "emoire", Hope he is not acting as a stooge for someone, if he is he has made a bad job of it
[quote][p][bold]Concerned_one[/bold] wrote: A couple of things here: 1, The council has surveyed BTs site at Hawthorne RIse, as an allegedly potential new school site recently. 2, The Letter from the Headmaster was apparently also sent out to local Junior schools asking how many pre-filled response forms they would like for parents of children due to move up to secondary school. 3. This is also pushed at STP school assemblies with their pupils with great fervour. A lot of other little dictators throughout history started like this, protecting their little empire with the best of intentions, fair enough, fight for your school, but don't forget this is a democracy and once you are outside the school gate, and we have freedom to make our own choices![/p][/quote]Hope the council has not pre-empted the results, maybe the Head knows more than we do.Also I have heard about him contacting Junior schools.This man has only been in this area for as short time he is not acting for the good outcome for education in Pembrokeshire but to save his "emoire", Hope he is not acting as a stooge for someone, if he is he has made a bad job of it seaveiw
  • Score: 10

3:09pm Mon 31 Mar 14

Tttoommy says...

Tttoommy wrote:
seaveiw wrote:
This headmaster for some reason seems to have decided what the outcome of the consultation should b,hope the council do keep there promise not to allow the results to be skewed. Those identified responses as coming from parents and guardians influenced by him should be declared as void and destroyed.
Sorry to raise this BUT I cannot but help think about a poor lad who died in the Pembroke's School grounds - what did the headteacher there say ?
We should not pre-judge the outcome into the investigation ( and That's taking a VERY long time) - the next breath the head master tells us it was not because of bullying as there's absolutely no bullying at HIS sKool - spot the "fail" in logic there?
would one of you down voters/teachers be prepared to tell me why you voted the story down ?
[quote][p][bold]Tttoommy[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]seaveiw[/bold] wrote: This headmaster for some reason seems to have decided what the outcome of the consultation should b,hope the council do keep there promise not to allow the results to be skewed. Those identified responses as coming from parents and guardians influenced by him should be declared as void and destroyed.[/p][/quote]Sorry to raise this BUT I cannot but help think about a poor lad who died in the Pembroke's School grounds - what did the headteacher there say ? We should not pre-judge the outcome into the investigation ( and That's taking a VERY long time) - the next breath the head master tells us it was not because of bullying as there's absolutely no bullying at HIS sKool - spot the "fail" in logic there?[/p][/quote]would one of you down voters/teachers be prepared to tell me why you voted the story down ? Tttoommy
  • Score: 3

5:54pm Mon 31 Mar 14

local gal76 says...

seaveiw wrote:
AdmiralFoley wrote:
This isn't a referendum, where the option with the highest number of votes will become a reality. It's a tick-box exercise in every sense of the word. PCC isn't asking our opinion because it's stuck and doesn't know what to do. It just needs to tick a box to confirm that members of the public have been consulted.

Think about it - how many laypeople know what a 'federation' is? How much information was given about the possible outcomes of each scenario in terms of cost, how pupils would benefit, knock-on effects on staffing and transport issues? If PCC really wanted to bring people in to the decision-making process, this is information they would have shared.

So the head of STP took it upon himself to demystify this process in response to parents' requests, and highlighted the options that would be in the best interests of STP pupils. Please explain why this is such a terrible thing?
Sorry to disagree with you.It isn't up to any particular person to direct others to vote in any particular way, to demystify the process.This has happened recently in Ukraine this scenario that has happened at STP can be likened to that, dictatorship not informed choice. I agree the document should have been more concise with more information available let us hope that will happen later in the consultation. Meanwhile would this headmaster agree with me that the outcome of the Estyn report which is due this year may not be as favourable as the one done four years ago, and to which TM is compared. The heads of other schools are not behaving in such a belligerent way
The forms was filled in but no-one HAD to send it in. The response form is just designed to be confusing and maybe parents wanted to know the best option to keep their school, successful school open.
The talk of dictatorships and comparing it to the Ukraine is ridiculous. No-one is dying here, the headmaster sent a form home - woop de doo!! Get a grip. If you don't agree with what the head says, surely you are free to discard what is said and fill out your own response. This isn't a vote, merely a process.
[quote][p][bold]seaveiw[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]AdmiralFoley[/bold] wrote: This isn't a referendum, where the option with the highest number of votes will become a reality. It's a tick-box exercise in every sense of the word. PCC isn't asking our opinion because it's stuck and doesn't know what to do. It just needs to tick a box to confirm that members of the public have been consulted. Think about it - how many laypeople know what a 'federation' is? How much information was given about the possible outcomes of each scenario in terms of cost, how pupils would benefit, knock-on effects on staffing and transport issues? If PCC really wanted to bring people in to the decision-making process, this is information they would have shared. So the head of STP took it upon himself to demystify this process in response to parents' requests, and highlighted the options that would be in the best interests of STP pupils. Please explain why this is such a terrible thing?[/p][/quote]Sorry to disagree with you.It isn't up to any particular person to direct others to vote in any particular way, to demystify the process.This has happened recently in Ukraine this scenario that has happened at STP can be likened to that, dictatorship not informed choice. I agree the document should have been more concise with more information available let us hope that will happen later in the consultation. Meanwhile would this headmaster agree with me that the outcome of the Estyn report which is due this year may not be as favourable as the one done four years ago, and to which TM is compared. The heads of other schools are not behaving in such a belligerent way[/p][/quote]The forms was filled in but no-one HAD to send it in. The response form is just designed to be confusing and maybe parents wanted to know the best option to keep their school, successful school open. The talk of dictatorships and comparing it to the Ukraine is ridiculous. No-one is dying here, the headmaster sent a form home - woop de doo!! Get a grip. If you don't agree with what the head says, surely you are free to discard what is said and fill out your own response. This isn't a vote, merely a process. local gal76
  • Score: -6

7:25pm Mon 31 Mar 14

seaveiw says...

local gal76 wrote:
seaveiw wrote:
AdmiralFoley wrote:
This isn't a referendum, where the option with the highest number of votes will become a reality. It's a tick-box exercise in every sense of the word. PCC isn't asking our opinion because it's stuck and doesn't know what to do. It just needs to tick a box to confirm that members of the public have been consulted.

Think about it - how many laypeople know what a 'federation' is? How much information was given about the possible outcomes of each scenario in terms of cost, how pupils would benefit, knock-on effects on staffing and transport issues? If PCC really wanted to bring people in to the decision-making process, this is information they would have shared.

So the head of STP took it upon himself to demystify this process in response to parents' requests, and highlighted the options that would be in the best interests of STP pupils. Please explain why this is such a terrible thing?
Sorry to disagree with you.It isn't up to any particular person to direct others to vote in any particular way, to demystify the process.This has happened recently in Ukraine this scenario that has happened at STP can be likened to that, dictatorship not informed choice. I agree the document should have been more concise with more information available let us hope that will happen later in the consultation. Meanwhile would this headmaster agree with me that the outcome of the Estyn report which is due this year may not be as favourable as the one done four years ago, and to which TM is compared. The heads of other schools are not behaving in such a belligerent way
The forms was filled in but no-one HAD to send it in. The response form is just designed to be confusing and maybe parents wanted to know the best option to keep their school, successful school open.
The talk of dictatorships and comparing it to the Ukraine is ridiculous. No-one is dying here, the headmaster sent a form home - woop de doo!! Get a grip. If you don't agree with what the head says, surely you are free to discard what is said and fill out your own response. This isn't a vote, merely a process.
As I said the document should have been more concise,but it is not up to any individual to fill in option on the official form. The other Heads of schools did not do so.no doubt they have discussed with concerned parents the options available, They did not send a response form to every parent in the school.This man definatley overstepped the mark,in the way he behaved this is supposed to be a public consultation for any one interested enough in education to download, apply for the document or fill iit in on line t
[quote][p][bold]local gal76[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]seaveiw[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]AdmiralFoley[/bold] wrote: This isn't a referendum, where the option with the highest number of votes will become a reality. It's a tick-box exercise in every sense of the word. PCC isn't asking our opinion because it's stuck and doesn't know what to do. It just needs to tick a box to confirm that members of the public have been consulted. Think about it - how many laypeople know what a 'federation' is? How much information was given about the possible outcomes of each scenario in terms of cost, how pupils would benefit, knock-on effects on staffing and transport issues? If PCC really wanted to bring people in to the decision-making process, this is information they would have shared. So the head of STP took it upon himself to demystify this process in response to parents' requests, and highlighted the options that would be in the best interests of STP pupils. Please explain why this is such a terrible thing?[/p][/quote]Sorry to disagree with you.It isn't up to any particular person to direct others to vote in any particular way, to demystify the process.This has happened recently in Ukraine this scenario that has happened at STP can be likened to that, dictatorship not informed choice. I agree the document should have been more concise with more information available let us hope that will happen later in the consultation. Meanwhile would this headmaster agree with me that the outcome of the Estyn report which is due this year may not be as favourable as the one done four years ago, and to which TM is compared. The heads of other schools are not behaving in such a belligerent way[/p][/quote]The forms was filled in but no-one HAD to send it in. The response form is just designed to be confusing and maybe parents wanted to know the best option to keep their school, successful school open. The talk of dictatorships and comparing it to the Ukraine is ridiculous. No-one is dying here, the headmaster sent a form home - woop de doo!! Get a grip. If you don't agree with what the head says, surely you are free to discard what is said and fill out your own response. This isn't a vote, merely a process.[/p][/quote]As I said the document should have been more concise,but it is not up to any individual to fill in option on the official form. The other Heads of schools did not do so.no doubt they have discussed with concerned parents the options available, They did not send a response form to every parent in the school.This man definatley overstepped the mark,in the way he behaved this is supposed to be a public consultation for any one interested enough in education to download, apply for the document or fill iit in on line t seaveiw
  • Score: 11

Comments are closed on this article.

click2find

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree