Ramsey school forced to apologise for student “name and shame” notice board

The board which was on display at Ramsey Abbey College.

The board which was on display at Ramsey Abbey College. - Credit: Archant

Ramsey Abbey College had to remove the board after parents made complaints to the school.

Abbey College, Ramsey,

Abbey College, Ramsey, - Credit: Archant

A school in Ramsey has been forced to apologise after a "name and shame" board with pictures of students was put up in the school.

A parent of a student from Ramsey Abbey College complained and asked for the board to be removed after it appeared on a wall with pictures of all the sixth form students, as part of a "rating" system.

The school have said the board, which was erected last week was "in a staff room area of the sixth form" and wasn't intentionally made to be publicly displayed.

Students, however, have told The Hunts Post, they believe it was "damaging for their mental health" and are relieved it has now been taken down.

A student at the school said: "The board was put up with opposition from some of the teachers and students, it is structured so it compared 'effort' to 'progress', students are then put into categories of high progress to low effort, and so on. It is spread out on two boards meaning that people who are in the "low-low" quadrants are singled out, for all the sixth form to see.

"It was eventually taken down, but it's the principle of comparing students effort. They have no idea the effort that students put in, clearly shown by the board who ranks one of the most active students as right at the bottom quadrant. It is so wrong and damaging to the mental health of some students.

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"The fact that the board replaced a board that celebrated our achievements is a real kick in the teeth for us," said the student.

An open letter was also written to the head of sixth form, from students, raising issues surrounding current changes in policy and attitude towards sixth form students.

The letter has been signed by more than 70 students.

The letter says: "The student body was rightfully displeased at the board opposite the sixth form office. Students felt that aim was to 'name and shame' without consideration for contact. The student body is pleased the sixth form leadership has taken steps to rectify this."

The letter also raised issues concerning the detention policy, and lack of communication.

It says: "All of this contributes to an atmosphere of mistrust and frustration within the student body when they are seeking to be independent learners and excel in their A-levels. This is not a productive learning environment."

School principal Andy Christoforou has apologised and said the school accepts the notice board should not have been visible to students.

Mr Christoforou, said: "We apologise for the concern this noticeboard, which was displayed in one of our internal staff offices, has caused. We can confirm that it has since been removed from the wall.

"Our sixth form consistently secures some of the strongest results in our region. We work hard to encourage an open and mature dialogue with our students to help them achieve the best possible results and want to celebrate their efforts. We like to help students visualise how their effort positively impacts on their progress throughout their two years at our sixth form. We are very proud that the overwhelming majority of our students put in significant amounts of hard work and effort to achieve the grades they require.

"While all schools will have similar charts to ensure they provide the right support to each student, we accept that this particular notice should not have been as openly visible, and we have taken steps to ensure this doesn't happen again."

A school spokesman said that the "student voice" team will be discussing the issues at a meeting today (tomorrow).

"Abbey College has a strong focus on student leadership and 'Student Voice' across the school, and particularly in the Sixth Form. As part of this, and open and honest dialogue is encouraged and the students are asked to raise their concerns and to set the agenda for regular meetings with the Head of Sixth Form so that any matters can be discussed and resolved - this has been in the form of an agenda list and letters in the past.

"This letter was written and sent to the Head of Sixth Form within this context - it certainly wasn't a stand-alone campaign or petition.

We appreciate the comments the students have raised in their letter, which will be discussed with them on Friday 31st January at the Student Voice meeting with the Head of Sixth Form."