‘It’s been intimidating’: Campaigning head speaks out

Jules White, headteacher at Tanbridge House School, a secondary in Horsham, West Sussex, is the founder of the WorthLess? campaign, which represents more than 6,000 headteachers across the country. 

In an interview with Tes, he said that challenging government decisions in public had required an element of “professional courage”.

The response from MPs and the Department for Education has not been entirely positive, he said.

“I know that senior people in the DfE are of course aware of WorthLess? and me,” he said. “It has been intimidating at times, and you do receive some very robust emails. Partly from the DfE, perhaps from MPs – and you know that you’ve hacked some people off…and they make it quite clear in meetings.”

At an event at Parliament, White says he was introduced to a “very senior politician” who immediately turned his back on him “to the absolute horror of other headteachers watching”. 

“He felt that what I was doing was blaming a certain group of MPs [for school funding problems],” said White.

“They have to articulate stuff in a sensible and reasonable way. But the disaffection they’ve caused, and the complete lack of trust, in saying, ‘More money than ever before is going into schools, the NFF [National Funding Formula] is giving everyone a rise in real terms’.

“It’s at best disingenuous, at worst, deliberately misleading…I can’t stand bullshit.”

Read more ‘It’s been intimidating’: Campaigning head speaks out

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