Written on: 11/04/2013 by carlwyatt (4 reviews written)
It is my opinion that Wollaston specialist arts collage is possibly one of the poorest schools in the country and students who attend this school risk receiving both a poor education and possible injury/ill health.
Unfortunately this school suffers from two major flaws, the first being the comically inept head teacher and his senior management team, the second is the woefully inadequate site and premises.
Leadership - he typically starts off his day by parking up in his personal bay which is adjacent to his private on site garden which he'll then walk through to access his office in which he'll remain unseen for most of the day until he leaves. I'm not entirely sure what he achieves in this time but I'm painfully aware that it's often self serving, one example of this is when the school asked for two members of staff to volunteer for redundancy, many staff volunteered but Browne in his infinite wisdom decided to accept the redundancy of a Melvyn Hawkins who is a close personal friend, Hawkins who worked at the school since the 70's received a generous five figure redundancy package and left at the start of the summer holiday's only to return five weeks later working as a consultant on a undisclosed but undoubtedly generous wage (a position he still holds today).
Other examples of Browne's style of leadership includes the harassment and bullying of the schools business manager, finance manager, site supervisor and others until the point they feel obliged to leave.
The head is also prone to rather comical child like temper tantrums the funniest of which was when I'd involved my union in a depute I was having with Browne, I arranged a meeting with him and my union rep which (long story short) ended with him stood arms cross in silence staring directly at the ceiling waiting for me and the rep to leave whilst refusing to acknowledge the existence of either of use.
Site & premises – the school was originally built in the late 50's to accommodate the baby boomer generation, the buildings were originally designed as semi temporary structures with a life span of 30 ish years, today some 55 years later the buildings are still standing (just) which with proper maintenance and managements isn't necessarily a bad thing, sadly this school has had to do without both since the mid 90's. To start with the school like many others is full of asbestos. Despite request from myself and others only a very basic asbestos survey had been carried out and levels of asbestos dust hadn't been measured which when you consider the amount of foot traffic in a 1400 student school and the associated vibration is appalling.
Other major issues are;
The school is in a a high level radon zone but has never monitored the levels of radon in the air dispute being obliged by law to do so.
The school has a large amount of non safety glass at both ground and first floor height which when smashed will fall to the ground in large shards which could easily kill especially as many of these windows surround the playground.
When I first started at the school two fire escape doors in the science block had been boarded up due to rot leaving insufficient means of escape.
The roofs leak in many areas often onto and through electrical fittings but no effort is made to isolate staff and students from the risk of electric shock.
The list just goes on and on.
At the end of the day the greatest compliment anyone working in the education sector could pay to a school is to say the they'd happily allow their own children to attend said school and I very much feel this way about the school I currently work at but I would refuse to allow any child of mine to attend Wollaston in it's current state. If your a parent who feels concerned having read this review please don't just take my word, make a point of talking with the school and asking your kids and other students what they think of the school.
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