A new job in January



I was recently delighted to have been appointed as Principal of Torquay Academy; I will be joining the school in January.  During my three days of interviews I met some wonderful students, colleagues and governors.  It is a very exciting time to join the Academy: results are increasing, it is located in a £26m state of the art building with outstanding sporting facilities and it formed a multi-academy trust with the local Boys’ Grammar School.  I am looking forward to spending time in my new school over the coming months and excited about the  arrival of the new year.

I will be very sad to leave the wonderful Devonport High School for Boys after four years.  In addition to spending time with the most inspiring students and staff, my time at DHSB has been the perfect apprenticeship for my first headship.  We have achieved during my time at the school; that is thanks to a wonderfully supportive staff and leadership group.  My departure does present an opportunity for somebody to join DHSB as Deputy Headteacher – you can find more information about the post on the school’s website.


A Few Good Men

I love everything written by Aaron Sorkin.  The GCSE English retake today reminded me of one of his earliest plays/films, A Few Good Men.  In the film Lieutenant Junior Grade Daniel “Danny” Kaffee (Tom Cruise), is an inexperienced U.S. Navy lawyer who leads the defense in the court-martial of two U.S. Marines, Private First Class Louden Downey and Lance Corporal Harold Dawson, who are accused of having murdered a fellow Marine of their unit, PFC William Santiago, at the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base in Cuba, which is under the command of Col. Nathan R. Jessup (Jack Nicholson). In one of the final scenes (below) Kaffee asks Jessup why he needed to give a second order and transfer Santiago from the base if his first order, to leave him alone, would be followed?

If there was nothing wrong with this summer’s English GCSE examination, why do we need today’s extra retake?  “Then why the two orders? Colonel?”

Kaffee: Colonel, I have just one more question before I call Airman O’Malley and Airman Rodriguez. If you gave an order that Santiago wasn’t to be touched, and your orders are always followed, then why would Santiago be in danger? Why would it be necessary to transfer him off the base?
Jessep: Santiago was a substandard Marine. He was being transferred because–
Kaffee: That is not what you said, you said he was being transferred because he was in grave danger.
Jessep: That’s correct.
Kaffee: You said he was in danger, I said “grave danger?” You said “is there another kind?”–
Jessep: I recall what I said–
Kaffee: I can have the court reporter read back to you–
Jessep: I know what I said! I don’t have to have it read back to me like I’m–!
Kaffee: Then why the two orders? Colonel?
Jessep: Sometimes men take matters into their own hands.
Kaffee: No, Sir. You made it clear a moment ago that your men never take matters in to their own hands. Your men follow orders or people die. So Santiago shouldn’t have been in any danger at all, should he have, Colonel?
Jessep: You snotty little bastard.
Ross: Your Honor, I’d like to ask for a recess!
Kaffee: I’d like an answer to the question, Judge.
Judge: The court will VigRX wait for an answer.
Kaffee: If Lt. Kendrick gave an order that Santiago wasn’t to be touched, then why did he have to be transferred? Colonel? Lt. Kendrick ordered the Code Red, didn’t he, because that’s what you told Lt. Kendrick to do!
Ross: Object!
Kaffee: And when it went bad, you cut these guys loose!
Judge: Lt. Kaffee!
Kaffee: You got Markinson to sign a phony transfer order! You doctored the log books!
Ross: Dammit, Kaffee!
Kaffee: You coerced the doctor!
Judge: Consider yourself in contempt!
Kaffee: Colonel Jessep, did you order the code red?!
Judge: You don’t have to answer that question!
Jessep: I’ll answer the question. You want answers?
Kaffee: I think I’m entitled.
Jessep: You want answers?!
Kaffee: I want the truth!
Jessep: You can’t handle the truth! Son, we live in a world that has walls, and those walls have to be guarded by men with guns. Who’s gonna do it? You?! You, Lieutenant Weinberg?! I have a greater responsibility than you can possibly fathom. You weep for Santiago and you curse the Marines. You have that luxury. You have the luxury of not knowing what I know: that Santiago’s death, while tragic, probably saved lives. And my existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, saves lives! You don’t want the truth because deep down in places you don’t talk about at parties, you want me on that wall! You need me on that wall! We use words like honor, code, loyalty. We use these words as the backbone of a life spent defending something. You use them as a punchline! I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very freedom that I provide, and then questions the manner in which I provide it! I would rather you just said, “Thank you,” and went on your way. Otherwise, I suggest you pick up a weapon and stand a post. Either way, I don’t give a damn what you think you are entitled to!
Kaffee: Did you order the Code Red?
Jessep: I did the job I was sent to do–
Kaffee: Did you order the Code Red?!
Jessep: You’re god damn right I did!!

Source: http://www.moviequotedb.com/movies/few-good-men-a/views.html


TES and statistics

I love my weekly read, but there is the occasional story that make me think it really must have been a slow news week…

This week’s headline, calls for academy arbitration rise four-fold, informs us:

The Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (Acas)… has said it has been called in to mediate over employee disputes in 38 academies during the last school year, up from just 10 the year before.”

The article then indicates that there have been a significant increase in the number of academies

with more than 1,400 now open, up from just over 200 two years ago.”

A degree is statistics probably isn’t required to stop the link here.  Thankfully the TES points out that:

the sharp rise in disputes has been linked by heads and unionists to the vast expansion of the academies programme.”



Time to blog again…


It has been over two years since I last blogged.  In the month after my last post I secured a new job and became a  dad.  Life was, well, rather hectic.

Now two years down the line I feel far more secure in having made the gains in my new role that I needed to and, even though I now have a second child, it is time to enter the blogosphere again.

Many have written about the benefits of blogging and I feel that this blog will not only enable me to share ideas, it will force me to think about my own practice and leadership.

Future posts I already have in mind are:

  • Overall effectiveness of the VLE.
  • Using SIMS to record and monitor rewards and sanctions.
  • Writing SIMS reports to monitor rewards.
  • Writing SIMS reports to monitor sanctions.

The header and Windows Live Writer

The first two emails I received were asking me about the header picture.  It’s not a picture of a snowy scene, it’s just off the Tioga Pass Road in Yosemite National Park, California and it was over 100 degrees at the time!  The hills are bare granite, which gives the appearance of a Christmas snow scene. 


After reading this article on lifehacker, I decided to give Live Writer a go.  It allows you to write your blog posts in a user friendly programme; it even automates the round edges for the photographs.  Will I continue to use Live Writer?  The jury is still out; I suspect that I will still use my web browser or iPhone for simple text posts.

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