Standing up to the Bullies

I am sorry to have to write again about the behaviour of some of our parents here on the blog, outside school and on other social media. We teach our children about rights and responsibilities. We also ask our children to look to us as role models as adults. Our responsibility is to demonstrate through our words and actions, the behaviour we expect from the younger generation.

I think that the behaviour of a group of parents is setting an extremely poor example. I have been using social media for some years in my capacity as a Headteacher and have never experienced the level of negativity and bad manners displayed by a handful of parents on here. I have spoken to many staff and parents who tell me that this has been allowed to flourish unchecked here for some years. I have also been told about the rude and offensive comments being levelled against me, and other staff, on social media.

This has to stop. Β I take a strong stance against bullying of any kind, whether it is from an adult or a child.Β I have always been open and transparent in my dealings here at Selsdon. I have been clear about my role which is to improve the standard of teaching and pupil progress so that all of our children achieve at the highest level. It would appear that some parents do not want to support us in this aim.

I would ask that anyone who has received the, very unpleasantly titled, petition calling for my resignation to hand a copy to the office (anonymously, if you like). We are seeking legal advice and have spoken to the Police, so any further information about this would help us no end.

I would also like to hear more about the planned ‘smoking picket line’ planned for later this term. I understand that a group of parents are planning to block the pavement whilst smoking as a protest against my polite request to not smoke directly outside the school gates. I have already been in contact with the Press who are very interested in this bizarre plan!

I am certain that both of these actions do not reflect the views of the vast majority of parents who wish for nothing more than a high quality education for their children.

To conclude, I have made a decision to not spend any more time dealing with the aggressive and critical messages that I have been receiving. I am sure that many of you would agree that my time is much better spent in the classrooms ensuring that all of our pupils are receiving a great education.

From now on I think that it is best to use this blog as a forum for pupils to share their thoughts and ideas. This will be further developed once we get the class blogs up and running.

If any parent wishes to speak to me about any of the issues raised here, please come and speak to me in person.

I look forward to working in a positive way with our whole school community to ensure the successful development of our school.

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Susan Papas View All →

Executive Headteacher

61 Comments Leave a comment

  1. This is so sad – i have to say that i am so pleased to have a strong female head teacher as a role model for the children. Fortunately i havent heard about the activities you mention – if i did or do, i will stand up to this awful behaviour. Sad times.

  2. Dear Susan, I am relieved to note that you do not believe that the majority view has been represented by whatever you are referring to, and I am truly mortified that the matter has continued in spite of your very clear direction to those parents who needed to be told. I can assure you that I have encountered nothing but support for your vision for our school, and can only apologise that perhaps we have not been sufficiently vocal in our support of you and the entire staff. My family greatly appreciates all of your efforts, and your continued commitment to the children in the face of such inexcusable behaviour. I am quite sure that once these parents perceive the results of your hard work, they will be less intimidated by change in the future.

    Teaching is not only one of the hardest and most challenging careers out there, it is also a great privilege to be an educator of the next generation. I would urge all our mums and dads to get behind the team at Selsdon Primary School (if they are not already), and work together to achieve what needs to be done.

  3. I feel very saddened after reading this post, I think we all need to embrace the change…and remember it is still very early days! Negativity is not going to help our children progress and surely the one thing we all have in common is our children, and wanting the very best for them and for them to have the best education we can give them…this means we all need to show our support and stop moaning, get involved and help in your child’s class and get a real insite on what our school is trying to achieve!

  4. I agree with Bea this is awful I haven’t heard any of these things either. My children are much happier this term and are pleased with the changes that have been made by Ms Papas. Whilst I am no means anti smoking I’ve never understood why parents can’t wait until there away from the school to light up.

  5. I am so sad to read this. I could write loads about my feelings on this but all I will say is that it’s a well known fact the school has been under performing. Change is needed in order to improve things. Susan has a proven record at turning around struggling schools. Surely that’s all that matters? Whether you agree with her methods or not we must all agree that our children come first and deserve the best education they can get. If she can improve standards and performance at the school she should be given the chance to do so and not confronted on every move.

  6. I really do think this is such a shame……I really feel the atmosphere at the school had started to become very positive since you started. I have never known there to been such a strong structure with the pupils. I have nothing negative to say about any changes that have been made to the school. Long may these changes continue. The school and everyone involved should be proud to have a head teacher that is this dedicated to our children’s well being in the future

  7. It is such a shame that some people are averse to change- good change here I dare say. Susan, all I will say is keep up the fantastic work you have started and be sure there are parents like me out there who are thankful and support these positive changes 100%.

  8. I for one am behind what your doing for our children 100% and for the petty minded few that obviously care more about there smoking and abusing people that are trying to make a better education for our children as well as caring about our child’s health and well being….all I can say to these parents is I feel so sorry for you if thus is what you need to fill your time with.

  9. I totally agree Bea I think it’s great to have strong head teacher. I have not heard anything about a petition & if I had I would not be having any of it.

  10. Miss papas, I am once again embarrassed and ashamed at some of the parents at this school. I feel that you are exactly what this school needs and I embrace any changes you believe fit. If other parents do not like it then maybe they should think about sending their child/children to a different school. This school needs to embrace change to become a better school and the only way that is going to happen is with the support from the parents..
    This blog is a excellent form of communication between the school and parents but now due to those few parents who have chosen to moan and bitch have ruined things for others. I would like to take this opportunity to say thank you to you Susan papas for your hard work and commitment you have shown to our school and i hope you gain the support you need to turn Selsdon primary into a school to be proud of. With regards to this smoking picket! What a joke & what a terrible example those parents are setting to their children and I feel sorry for them. Keep up the good work miss papas πŸ™‚

  11. This is truly awful behaviour and embarrassing to read – and will put off future parents when looking at admission for next September. Ms Papas and all the staff are working hard to turn the school around. We need to allow time for the changes to bed in.

  12. As a parent I am mortified to hear this Susan and deeply saddened. You have been a very positive addition to Selsdon Primary and a true asset, putting things into perspective, you haven’t just rocked up to Selsdon, uninvited, to make un-needed changes, you were placed here as our school was failing and had many wrongs to right, the leadership had been heavily criticised for its failings by Ofsted, and you, as a very successful Head and Leader were placed here to turn the fortunes of Selsdon Primary around.

    I am totally unaware of any relevance that the impact of a smoking picket line will have for the positive progression of our children’s education, nor do I believe that this is any help towards the bigger picture and long term goal of making Selsdon a successful school where the education and teaching is of at least good if not outstanding quality.

    I am very saddened to hear of a petition calling for your resignation, and I as were other Parents whom have commented totally unaware of its existence! I will never understand why parents would call for the resignation of a Head teacher that has made so many positive changes and showed clear, strong leadership, something that was seriously lacking prior to your appointment, yet not speak out at all the many failings and faults that Selsdon Primary and the previous leadership had let go a miss, leading to our schools rapid decline, especially other such trivial and irrelevant matters as smoking outside the schools gates and so fourth.

    I totally understand that people, this includes Parents and disgruntled teaching staff become anxious and un-nerved by changes, but these are changes that will improve our school for the good of our children, whom are the most important people in all of this. The school playground shouldn’t be a popularity contest, but a place where positivity and respect for one another breads, thus creating a safe and positive environment for our children.

    I for one am totally behind the completely necessary and desperately needed changes that you have implemented throughout our School and continue to do so, and more importantly am totally behind YOU, a proven successful, strong Head teacher whom is out to do the best for all our children, and will not be in support of malicious and unfounded smear campaigns that have no relevance to our Children’s education and of building a better school for the future.

    I really hope that the minority doesn’t cloud your judgement of the majority of us whom are behind you every step of the way, and welcome all the positive changes you have made in such a small amount of time, and hope that you are with us at Selsdon for the foreseeable future.

    All the best for what I bet you see as a much bigger mountain to climb than first anticipated, but hopefully one that will bring great reward that will benefit us all.

    Regards, Emma

  13. The attitude shown by these parents is shocking. They are still behaving as if they are at school, thinking rebelling against authority is big and clever. Well it’s not. They really need to act with a little maturity here and think carefully about the example they are setting their young, impressionable children. Susan has made a polite request that parents refrain from smoking directly outside the school gates. Who could possibly think that this request is unreasonable? And as for the petition, well, I am speechless.

    Susan, please don’t be fazed by this episode. The vast majority of SPS parents are behind you, I am sure.

  14. Thank you everyone for all of your kind words and comments. You have only reinforced what I already believed to be true – the vast majority of parents want nothing more than an outstanding education for their children.

    I look forward to working with you all to ensure that our school, and therefore our children, achieve great things!

    Thank you again.

    Susan

  15. Please excuse my mis-spelling of breeds in my message above, spelt breads! And I also wanted to add, that I find this blog invaluable and is a fantastic means of communication between parents and the school, and wanted to thank you for setting it up, to give parents a voice, which helps when you have a Head teacher that listens! I hope this blog can be used a positive tool from here on in!

    All the very best

    Emma

  16. Dear Susan I am shocked to read this and you have my full backing on what you are doing I know you from your other school as you know and am pleased you are at Selsdon too. These small minded people are a sad minority . And one more thing as a smoker I think not smoking directly outside the school is a very good idea .

  17. Dear Susan

    As a parent that has had 2 boys attending Selsdon, now at Warlingham, and one son in year 6, I too am totally disgusted with the way you have been treated.

    I’m glad you have received support on this blog as opposed to the other not so positive opinions. The school needs a breathe of fresh air to which you are trying to achieve. It’s a shame that some parents cannot appreciate your efforts but I think you find that the majority are right behind you.

    Thank you again for all you are doing. Shame on those who are too shortsighted to see the progress that will be made.

  18. Having thought about this all day, I’m at a total loss to understand what this small minority of parents are really aiming to achieve for their children. Do they honestly believe they have the right to try and enforce ‘their values & views’ on the vast majority of parents and children by their bullying tactics?? What a sad example to set to their children!! I have been associated with SPS for 20 years now and look forward to restoring it’s former reputation; working with the current Leadership team, Teachers, Parents and children to achieve this.

    Feeling optimistic!! πŸ™‚

  19. Dear Susan
    I am appalled to hear about this. I can assure you that the majority of parents who I have spoken to have been full of positive feelings and response towards both the blog and the changes that you have proposed. I have not heard about any of the actions that the mentioned yet. However, I am pretty sure that it must be just a few minority of parents that are behind this. Please continue with the good work that you have started as you do have the support of the majority of parents.

    Let’ s set a good example to our kids and concentrate on their education!

  20. Hi Susan,

    Having read your blog and the comments made by other parents I must agree that I am ashamed that a small group of parents are acting in this manner. My grandson goes to your school and I as a grandparent want the best for him. The school needs to be improved for their benefit and that is the reason you have been put there. You have a long task ahead of you but rest assured you have the backing of myself and most of the parents as all we want is the best for the children.

    Carol

  21. I hope the comments on hear do continue to reassure you that the overwhelming majority of parents are supportive of you Susan. There will always be a percentage of people who are resistant to change no matter how big or small but unfortunately some communicate their reistance in a negative way. The critical mass are with you and your staff and you are absolutely right to channel your efforts in a positive way rather than being drawn into responding to those who are being overly negative.

    The irony is our children are so much better at adapting to change than many of us adults. The bottom line from what I have observed is that our children are happy, content and progressing in a positive learning environment.

  22. Hello,
    I would like to say that I’m really happy with the change you have in the school. As a parent of 3 children attending Selsdon primary, the changes has been obvious and in good intention and honestly I’m understanding more what’s happening in the school now. I would like to say pleasing every one will be impossible so keep on doing ur best for both children and school and don’t worry about those rude people.
    At the end I like to say you are doing very well. :))πŸ˜ŠπŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘

  23. keep up the fantastic work and the shaking up that selsdon needs! what a breathe of fresh air someone with there eyes wide open and getting stuck in and loving the blog the newsletter always came across very patronising and hallelujah you have opened the other gate!!! lol my mind boggles what planet the previous leadership was on!

  24. Indeed Marie, a breath of fresh air and Hallelujah for the other gate being opened!!! Was greatly excited today and so were my kids! KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK SUSAN! I am loving the wonderful atmosphere in the school now and the fact I am able to walk up to the Head teacher and have a word with her without having to book weeks ahead and still not get seen!

  25. I’ve been thinking of comparing Selsdon Primary School to a football club.

    Evrry Sunday the skillful, loyal and dedicated team turn up for the match. When they arrive the kit is unwashed, the goalposts are missing and the ball is flat!! as they look to the sky, they collectively think ‘whats the worse that can happen?’ just as the heavens open.

    Regardless of this the team change into their kits and head for the tunnel. As they do so, their little team mascots, looking smart in their kit/uniform trustingly give their hand to the players as they are led into the unknown, oblivious to the silence. Where are the supporters??

    The game commences and the team battles on. At the end of the match the score is 13-0. The players head off the pitch cold, wet, fed up and disillusioned. Will they turn up next week? Of course they will they are Selsdon United.

    During the week the social networks go mad. The manager has been replaced. By the end of the day the new mansger calls a team meeting assuring them things will things will be different from now on he tells the loyal and dedicated team. The kits will be clean, missing goalposts will be found and thrre will be extra balls in case they go flat.

    The team are excited. They stay in Saturday night, clean their boot and go over the pre-match brief.

    The next day everyone arrives on time. From beyond the tunnel the team can hear voices from the few supporters In the stand. At the end of the match the score is 10-4. (still not great but better than last week).

    Again the new week brings more changes and the team prepare well. Sunday’s result 6-5 to the other team. The team are pleased but now they’re looking for the win.

    The following Sunday with more supporters arriving they’ve had to open extra gates!!! things go well for the team and at the final whistle the score is 3-2 to Selsdon. They’ve done it. They’ve only gone and won!!!

    They’ve got tbe premier league in their sights, who can beat them now??

    Would they like Gareth Bale’s transfer fee? Definitely. Would they settle for a new boiler in the staff room? Probably…..

    GO SELSDON UNITED!!!

  26. Need a hosepipe outside the gates, soak the smokers! Disgusting behaviour from a minority of idiots. Keep up the good work Miss Papas!!

  27. I feel that from what I’m hearing and reading things are getting out if hand, I have heard that donna’s cakes has been subject to some horrible comments…. Why??? Donna is only trying to earn a living and nobody has ever had a problem with her before, I think these parents should be named and shamed so us supporting parents can see who is disrupting things for the school and our children 😦

  28. I don’t wish to make the situation any worse than it already is but as a proud long-standing resident of Selsdon and Croydon, I am deeply embarrassed that our school has, today, made national, and local, media for all the wrong reasons ! I am very happy to have my child attend the school and look forward to seeing the school flourish over the year, and to see it achieve an overall “2” or even a fantastic “1” at its next Ofsted inspection.

  29. Just wish to leave a message of support for Susan having read the BBC article today.
    What awful behavior by parents!

  30. I’ve just been reading the shocking report on the BBC website, regarding the backlash to the polite request to parents.

    As a teacher and member of SLT in another London school, it makes my blood boil to see parents kick up a fuss about this. If only they could put their time and energy in to their child’s education, rather than trying to make the headteachers life difficult.

    Being a headteacher is a hard and often lonely job. You are accountable for the school community and often having to implement change, for the better of the school, you become a victim to bullies.

    I don’t know you Susan, but from what I have read in your blogs and ofsted reports from previous school, you seem to be doing a fantastic job.

    London has some of the best schools in the country, with some of the toughest challenges. It is brave people like you, who are not willing to back down because a few hurtul words, that help make Schools such a successful place.

    Well done and keep it up!

    Scott
    Barnet/Brent

  31. Its pathetic really that such parents would stoop as low as this, blockades and resignation campaigns – consider is it the best way forward? are such actions going to help your children and improve your school?

  32. I am a smoker, I have raised two children (a daughter 24 and a son 20) neither of my children have ever seen me smoke a cigarette and I can proudly say that neither of my children smoke. I started smoking at a very young age, due to the fact that I wanted to be like my mum (not through peer pressure). I could not image smoking outside a primary school knowing my actions could influence children. I think it goes without saying that adults should know better and should not smoke outside the school or in the presence of children. Smoking parents at the primary school that my children attended (many years ago) never smoked outside the school. I recall one mother smoking and after a polite word in her ear by a parent she did not smoke outside the school again. Years ago smoking was socially accepted, today it is a totally different story and we all know the affects that smoking has on our health. It is baffling why these people would want to advertise smoking to the future generation. I back Ms Papas 100%.

    Michelle from West London

  33. I am totally disgusted reading in the media about what the head teacher and parents/pupils have had to put up with from a small, ignorant, rude and disgusting minority of bullies on here. These idiots should be named on here and on whatever social media they’ve been spouting their poison on. Feel so sorry for their kids, having to grow up with parents like these. What is wrong with some people? Whole thing just beggars belief – hope the police are able to take action against them.

    Julie, Croydon.

  34. How wonderful to have a headteacher who cares so much! Keep up the good work Susan! Those would be the first parents to complain if their children were bullied at school, yet they seem to think it’s ok to be bullies themselves. These parents definitely need to join the real world and learn that not everything can be their way always and how important it is to be good role models for their children. Totally agree with the comments above. Do take heart from the support you are receiving from outside your school population.

    Michelle from East Kent

  35. As a Parent Governor at a school in the midlands it saddened me to hear of the bullying behaviour of a small group of parents. I cannot begin to understand why some people believe that their personal freedoms are more important than their social responsibilities. Do they really consider that ‘teaching kids to smoke by setting a bad example’ is a badge to wear with pride? Hospitals insist that people do not smoke at entrances to buildings for a range of sensible reasons, all of which are equally applicable to schools! I’m sure that the majority of parents from any school will join me in offering unconditional support to Ms Papas on this issue! Keep up the good work!

  36. A small minority of ill informed but highly motivated people can undermine a school, leading to a lowering of children’s progress. They can say more or less what they like, while the school management have to maintain a respectful and professional approach. Don’t let them grind you down: use your support network including other parents, staff and governors – and don’t forget the children may have views too,

  37. As a parent I also became the target of a hate campaign at a school my own children attended, simply because I spoke up against parents smoking near the school and around their children in cars even, which in my opinion I will say is tantamount to child abuse, but no amount of bullying will alter the fact that you are right to protect children from this bad influence and serious poison in the air, just as I was right.
    Having been myself a suffering and perpetually ill child of a smoking mother, I can say passive smoke does hurt children terribly and these parents are at best insensitive and at worst downright abusive to smoke around their children!

  38. Would like to say I think all this could have been said to these parents in a form of a newsletter instead of the press being contacted ,making all the parents of this school look bad. I do wonder where this issue of smoking come from because I have never seen many whoever notified the press maybe should have thought about our schools reputation first if they really cared about pupils and parents and staff of selsdon primary, they shouldn’t of been contacted in first place.

  39. Like the majority of the school I was shocked to read the article about my children’s school in the Advertiser 3 weeks ago and gave my full support to Susan Papas and staff. However, I am a little disappointed that the same stories have been rehashed in the national news and newspapers. Was this really necessary? I am not aware of any new incidents occurring and feel this regurgitating of an old and frankly pathetic story on a national level can only have a negative affect on the school. I am now concerned with the motives behind the re release of this story?

  40. Full support to Susan for her positive handling of this embarrassing and unbelievable situation. As a local resident and parent of ex pupils, (one now serving in the British Army) I could neither believe or understand the news report today from the actions of a few stupid parents. Why would you want to make the life of a decent head teacher, who is doing the best for their children; so difficult? I believe I speak for the majority of Selsdon residents who want to be proud of our community school and see all our children strive to achieve and do the best they can in life.

  41. Every time I see Susan on the tele i smile. Finally we have a head who says it like it is. Someone who is open minded enough to speak to lots of news agencies. Last year I threatened to call the daily mail over the schools now much publicised FAILINGS! I was told “not the daily mail they hate gays!” Nice to see former school gate smokers now reformed smoking characters too! Can’t think how bad us parents look though as a whole. Fighting for our children’s wellbeing I’m in. Fighting against polluting their tiny minds, I’m in! Fighting to give our children a decent education when their school is FAILING! I’m in! Nice to see those who were so supportive and blinded to the previous administrations failings are straight up the front with a debate on ….. . ….. . ….. Smoking a fag! Oh and Susan we don’t have many middle class in our school. Just lots of yuppies like myself!

  42. Hello ‘a concerned parent’,

    I did put this message in a newsletter to parents, by posting on this blog. It was a polite suggestion that parents smoke away from the school gates. This sparked a very unpleasant reaction from some parents who chose to remain nameless. I asked repeatedly for these parents to make themselves known and to come and speak to me directly. However, they chose not to do this.

    I then heard from several people that these parents were posting anonymous petitions to staff and parents in the local area, asking for support to get me out. Having heard that this type of behaviour had happened before, and was left unchallenged, I felt that it was important to take a stand against this.

    I care very much about the well-being of all of the children, staff and parents here at Selsdon which is why I am making a point of bringing this out into the open. I did invite the Croydon Advertiser into the school as they were keen to find out how my first few weeks at the school had been.

    The story was picked up by the Sunday Express this weekend and the others followed. I have taken this opportunity to talk about how supportive the vast majority of parents are and to talk about how great the children and staff have been. I think that only good things will come of this and that Selsdon Primary has the potential to become a truly great school.

    Best wishes

    Susan

  43. Hello again,

    The picket line was planned for the last day of half term, however, I think that given the recent publicity that this is no longer going to take place.

    Susan

  44. Hello Maria,

    I am not sure why the national press picked up on the story this weekend. Whilst there have not been any further incidents, I think that it is important to continue to take a stand against the unpleasant behaviour of some of our school community.

    The response to this in the media has been beyond my control. It appears to be a story that many people, in and out of the media, want to talk about. I thought it important to answer as many questions as possible so that I could make it clear that this is the behaviour of a tiny minority and not the majority of people here at Selsdon.

    I have looked at the large number of messages sent to me and posted on the various press websites and the vast majority are totally in support of the school and the position we have taken. I do not think that this will cause any harm to the school, in fact quite the opposite.

    Best wishes

    Susan

  45. As a parent of a young child who will be staring school in the next couple of years, I have been concerned by the negative Ofsted reports as I live locally.

    I agree that the negative element to the report is regretable however it has raised my and many other parents attention to the raising of standards at the school and that poor behaviour and negative role models will be discouraged and I feel this can only be a benefit.

    Good luck and continue the good work all teachers at Selsdon Primary.

  46. I to have not heard about any of this around the school and feel that it is giving our school bad publicity. I am now concerned the level of attention this story has brought to our school. By this I mean that the amount of people now looking at the schools blog has increased dramatically from people around the country. Especially as photos and even videos of our children our on here, is there anyway that the classrooms are only allowed to be seen by the parents,with children in these class’s by means of a password. Look forward to your reply asap Miss Papas.

  47. Like a few others who have left comments here I came upon this issue via BBC news. I live nowhere near Croydon and thus my children do not attend your school. However, having said that I would like to offer my words of support to Susan Papas for making a stand over the issue of smoking directly outside school grounds.

    I don’t smoke, never have and never will. Adults who choose to smoke in areas with a high concentration of children demonstrate just how selfish they are. Not only have the negative health impacts of passive smoking long since been proven but children are naive and impressionable and such a display can provide no benefit to them.

  48. Hello Elaine,

    I can only hope that by having more people looking at our blog that they can see the good things that go on here. The purpose of the blog is to share our work and ideas with the world at large. To limit access to our blogs would rather defeat the purpose. I have found that the use of blogs in school has helped our pupils gain a much better understanding about their online presence and the need to be safe online.

    We issue strict guidance to our staff in terms of what they can and cannot post on the class blogs. If you are at all concerned about your child appearing on their class blog, then please speak to your class teacher tomorrow and they can remove any images of your child from their blog.

    Best wishes

    Susan

  49. I too have just come onto your site to show my support for your head, and in spending the few minutes on this site can see what a fabulous, proactive school it is, as well as discovering it is the school my husbands 2 nieces go to!! Well done Keziah on winning those tickets!

  50. I wish you to know you have my full support. Setting a good example to young students is so very important and your behaviour was reasonable and well-guided. The behaviour of anybody who would disrespect you and insult you is somewhat ironic considering that these parents will most likely be amongst those who complain next week that their children are not learning good behaviour at school – something that in fact should be instilled at home.

    Please do not give up and stand by your beliefs. Your staff and students will have ever more respect for you and I can only hope this will not be damaged by parents undermining your authority in such an irresponsible way.

  51. I don’t live near the school but I have a child who has asthma and think it is important that parents refrain from smoking outside school. It does set a bad example. This story reminds me of the case where parents were taking lunches of junk food to children and the school gates because of healthy food being served by the school!! I am working class and very proud of it and cannot believe there are parents who are so ignorant. We should all want what is best for our children and second hand smoke is not good for anyone. I lost my uncle last week to empysemia caused by smoking and he was only in his sixties. I would not wish this on anyone, he suffered so much.
    For those parents who are worried about the negative press I would like to say that I think it is a good story for the school as it shows you have a headteacher who really cares about the school and the children’s well being. That is something to be applauded. Well done Ms. Papas πŸ™‚

  52. Dear Susan,

    I have just seen your interview on ITV this morning. May I add to this blog how well I think you came across. You are obviously good at you job as you wouldn’t have been assigned this task. I just want to add my support on here to what you are trying to do.

    It is so important that staff, pupils and parents work together if a school is to succeed. I speak as a parent of 3 children going through state education.

    Keep up the good work and don’t let the bullies win!

    Regards,

    Mark from Dorset

  53. Dear Susan, I am sure you personally have received many positive comments however Selsdon Primary has not. As I have already questioned ‘why was this necessary?’ I fail to see how this extended media coverage of an issue I believed to have been dealt some time ago, can possibly have any positives for the reputation of our school?

  54. Hi Maria and Susan

    I am one of those multitudes now reading your blog as a result of national media but I’m also a father with a kid at primary school.

    Just wanted to say that I expect Susan did not rehash the story the media did because its quite inspiring to see someone doing some good for our schools. The impression has been one of positivity about the school and if anyone takes the time to read the blog and especially the comments you can’t fail to see how fantastic pupils and staff and parents for that matter are. I think we all can recognize some of the problems the school faces which is one reason the story ‘went viral’ as it were.

    Great work on keeping the blog spam free and up to date. How on earth do you do it? Works great on mobile as well.

    Here’s hoping the future is bright

    Adrian Walters
    Gloucestershire

  55. Congratulations to Susan and her stance in this issue.

    This is probably a minority of parents and I’m sure the majority of them, and certainly the general public can see what she is trying to achieve.

    I used to smoke and a request like this is entirely sensible. Surely parents can wait for 10 minutes? As for a smoking picket, I don’t quite know what to say. Unbelievable.

    As deputy head myself, I know we have a duty of care for children that often extends past the school gates. Helping children with life choices and healthy lifestyles is an important part of this.

    Well done Susan and her team, I ho

  56. Hello Susan, in response to your reply on 21/10/13 at 10.02pm, I agree with you in The sense that highlighting the issue may look bad for the school, but on a positive note it has shown the majority of parents whose children attend the school as well as people elsewhere have fully supported you including myself. I was apprehensive about sending my child to this school due to the negative reports I had heard. However the teachers and TA’s I feel are doing fantastic job and my child is flourishing at the school. The changes you have made are positive for the children and parents, so we’ll done and please do not give up! Maybe you will be in the news again in one or two years for turning the school around!

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