U.K. reporter provokes backlash from teachers for running hatchet job on local head

Filling the pail

There’s a lazy form of news story that crops up in the U.K. from time to time. A headteacher, usually new to the post, will attempt to turn a school around by enforcing some of its rules. This will annoy a few students and parents. A journalist then writes up these complaints, naming the school and publicly shaming the head.

There is a problem of balance here. As a public servant, the headteacher is in no position to rebut or add context to the specific claims that are made. So the claims just hang there. Obviously, a responsible journalist should seek out other parents and students to triangulate the views of a few, but that rarely happens.

In a recent case, a headteacher had announced plans to leave his post at a school and move on to another school. A local journalist saw some negative comments on Facebook and decided…

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