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Hessle High School

WEEK 4 - Friday 29 September 2023

I write this week’s blog still smiling, nay glowing, from the aftermath of last night’s Open Evening. At the end of a fantastic yet exhausting night, we tallied up the numbers and found that 370 families had visited us. That is a remarkable number and is testament to the reputation that our school enjoys in the community. I have thanked my staff for this already but this is also a credit to yourselves as current parents/carers for the support you give us in setting and maintaining high standards of behaviour, uniform and educational quality. These high numbers ensure we will continue to operate at full capacity with the benefits that brings in terms of resources. Thank you. 

I have touched on the subject of school uniform many times in this blog and this is still a topic that excites rather a lot of strong feeling from people that have never worked in, nor led, a school. Often the comments are similar to this: 

“What difference does it make what shoes they wear? How does that affect their learning?” 

“I agree that a school should have rules, but some of them are just ridiculous.”  

The one that I find most interesting at the moment is this one; “School uniforms are out of date. They were okay in the ‘50s when everyone wore a suit to work but nowadays even bankers don’t wear a tie.” 

I heard this one on LBC the other night and, as is often the case when radio phone in hosts choose to discuss schools, I found myself talking to the radio like a crazy man. “Who gives a hoot what bankers wear?” I said. Although I didn’t say ‘hoot’. 

I wear a suit to work because it is smart, professional and it shows to my students and staff that I care enough about them to present myself in that way. Uniforms and smart dress help us to construct the cultural norm that school is a special place and that we are all worth dressing smartly for. It conveys the status of our environment. There are many other reasons why school uniform is necessary, but this is the one which addresses the ridiculous comparison to ‘bankers’.  

One or two parents have asked me how the golf went last weekend and I am happy to report that we both scored well; in my son’s case, he is improving his score by four or five shots each time he plays, and I was not as bad as normal. I’m still too embarrassed to share the actual scores but let us say it was comfortably over three figures. Comfortably. 

This weekend, he and his mum are going to watch Hull City on Saturday afternoon so I shall be spending the afternoon with my teenage daughter (she’s actually only 9, but you would never know it!). Our days out usually mean McDonalds, H&M, Primark and then the Odeon cinema, where I usually fall asleep holding her hand. Bliss. 

Whatever you are doing this weekend, enjoy it and thank you for your support.   

Mr Groak