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‘Boys can’t wear shorts’ - Nick Ferrari with Leon Hady on LBC

Nice to chat with Nick Ferrrari on LBC but always nice let to get to stick up for colleagues.

You probably heard of the story where ‘boys can’t wear shorts’

I was asked to comment on it and when I told the producer what my view was pre-show, was grateful they allowed it to be aired. Because it’s a complete non-story.

In essence, it seems after a consultation some parents didn’t get the immediate uniform policy change they wanted and somehow this go to the press.

So note, it wasn’t a new rule that said ‘boys can now wear skirts but can’t wear shorts’, It was more ‘trousers and skirts continue to be options available to all students and shorts will be reviewed’

Not much press interest in where this was in the school’s consultation journey, or where they are in transition of adding 350 new pupils, or that basically nothing had changed, it had just been reiterated - just a headline grabber which isn’t quite true, but invites clicks.

And this arm chair management ’but it’s just SHOOORRTTTSS’ doesn’t take into account any of the thinking / planning leaders have to make when they consider ANY change, even something seemingly as trivial as shorts.

Obviously I do not know the head in question, I’m just explaining and defending what I assume to be the colleague’s point of view and the one I assume of the board.

Please do have a listen, will give some insight into why things seem stuck in the mud at times in decision making. Last 2 mins are most valid.

And if you take issue with the consideration of items that won’t get the school ‘sued’ that is actually a sad reality.

The ‘advisory’ emails warning me of what I could be sued for as a head is one thing I am happy to no longer get in my inbox. Was always several a week. And people wonder why heads are leaving in droves.

A wise owl once told me a very very good way of making all decisions as a head when he said: ‘just imagine you are answering every question as if you were in court.’

Never failed!

Further, there’s a lot of this mis-reporting around schools at moment, since the Times report on education came out last week I’ve had to correct 30 colleagues and friends in stressing the ‘kids don’t know own name’ was an anecdote mentioned, not the focus of the report. At all.

Why are they trying to make schools out to be foolish and ineffective? 😏🥸 I wonder, I wonder…


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