Well Deserved Reserved Results

Hadleigh High School 140821More of Suffolk’s 16 year olds achieved expected levels of GCSE attainment this year.  Provisional results suggest an overall one per cent rise in the number of students getting five or more A*-C grades, including English and Maths. In Suffolk it means that 56% of the County’s year 11s got the expected level of attainment. In 2013, it was 55%.
Included in the schools making significant gains on last year is Hadleigh High School where  69% of students achieved five or more A*-C grades (including English and Maths), up 25% on last year. Everyone agrees that the results are a testament to the hard work and dedication of teachers, heads, governors, parents and, most importantly, students.
The photo is of Hadleigh High School students celebrating getting their GCSE results.
L-R: Tom Blomfield (student), Callum Smith (student), myself, Eric Watts (student), Cllr Lisa Chambers (cabinet member for education and skills, Mrs Gibson (Hadleigh High School headteacher, Cllr Mark Bee (county council leader), Sam Champman (student) and Annabele MacFarlane (student).
Meanwhile the Guardian reports today that  figures from the ONS reveal there were 955,000 Neets (young people not in education, employment or training) aged 16 to 24 in the UK in the period between April and June, down by 20,000 compared with January and March, and 138,000 lower than a year earlier.

Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

Troubles come not as single spies but often as battalions. So when I wrote in August being a quiet month I did not reckon on Tesco, East House and Hadleigh Quarry all coming out of the woodwork to claim our attention.
The good work that Babergh’s officers do often goes unnoticed and more often unappreciated. One of the current issues affecting Hadleigh is the High School  ignoring the needs of its immediate neighbours in Station Road. It is a saga of mistakes, unintended consequences and an inability to appreciate that being big doesn’t mean you are right.
The problem began in 2009 when the school, County and Town Council thought that a  Multi Use Games Area (MUGA) was needed in Hadleigh. The site was to measure 60m x 40m and planning permission came with a number of conditions. The suggested site was comfortably some distance away from the Station Road residences and there was no reason why everyone should not have been happy.
But then the MUGA was built 20% larger than authorised and placed nearer the houses. The all weather pitches were not sited nearer to the school but close to the boundary fences adjoining the houses. So, what should have remained a quiet residential area with residents being able to enjoy their summer gardens with the distant sound of happy athletes – meant that the residents felt they were imprisoned in their homes as  balls bounced off of the fences and the “athletic” language ranged from the impolite to the downright offensive.
The school says it doesn’t have the money to put things right – as if that is a good reason for continuing to inflict mistakes on other people.
Babergh officials on the other hand served a Noise Abatement Notice on the school in response to noise from the balls hitting the fence around the MUGA. The Planning Enforcement Officer has also intervened because there is unauthorised lighting.
What’s a reasonable way forward? First use the pitches furthest from the houses before you use the ones closest to the houses. Remind players that they are not Premier Division and so do not need to emulate the bad habits that they see and read about. Switch off the lights in accordance with the planning approvals and finally use the normal pitches during the summer months.
Otherwise the authority to use the MUGA 365 days a year until 10 p.m. Mondays to Friday and until 9 p.m. on Saturdays has to be revised and past errors need to be corrected. The purpose of Government and its agents is to serve the public – not to serve some at the expense of others.