On Thursday SMS received several emails from irate teachers who had been asked to vote “in a suitable fashion” by an email originally sent by Martin Fletcher, Head of Hastingsbury Upper School. The email is reproduced below and was sent to all the other upper school Heads.
SMS have been aware of this poll since Martin made a speech at the official consultation evening at his school during which he stated that 85% of votes were for a change to two-tier.
What Martin forgot to mention was that only 600 votes had been recorded (less than the size of his school), most visitors to school sites are their own pupils, and that individuals can vote from multiple computers and multiple times (once per day per IP address).
There was no coordinated effort to spread the news about it widely; no blog about it (until now); no major expenditure of time (as we’ve all got much better things to do).
The results are meaningless – but please do add your vote if you wish – we wouldn’t want Martin to feel the people of Bedford Borough didn’t care – he has a blog too if you want to read his thoughts…
Polls are usually put on websites with amusing and irrelevant questions (eg is Madonna looking her age?) as any intelligent person should realise that their results are worthless as an indication of public opinion.
Martin Fletcher should stand outside the lower schools of Kempston, as SMS have done, and listened to the 60-80% of parents that naturally support our campaign, without any undue influence or manipulation.
The email below smacks of desperation.
From: mfletcher [firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: 08 July 2009 15:48
To: Steve.Peacey@mrus.co.uk; A Lee; LGray@wootton.beds.sch.uk; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; JClemence@sharnbrook.beds.sch.uk
Subject: Two tier debate
I wonder if you can help. The SMS campaign appear to have galvanised parents / activists to respond on mass to our website poll on peoples preferences for two tier or three tier. In the last 4 days there have been 400 odd votes in favour of the retention of three tier. To save me the embarrassment of taking the poll off the website and the subsequent flack this will result in could you encourage your staff to visit our website at www.hastingsbury.beds.sch.uk and vote in a suitable fashion. They will need to scroll down on the front page to the bottom right hand corner to find the poll. It might seem a petty point but SMS clearly think it is worth getting their supporters to vote.
Thanks for your help
Hastingsbury Business and Enterprise College
Mobile – (removed)
PA Jan Gosnell – (removed)