Thursday, 23 July 2015

Leader Comment: End of a Year, End of an Era

Wow, we really haven't had one of these in ages.

With the end of term been and gone, like the musical worth of whoever-that-guy-from-The-Script-is, many students had already either buggared off on their holidays, or to the nearest tanning salon to do a fairly unconvincing imitation. However, for those who were still at school on Friday, that was the last day before summer. When we come back in September, work on the New Building will be in full swing, despite complaints from local residents saying, rightly so, that it will be 'visually intrusive' (i.e that it looks like it was made of Lego).

In response to the construction, the school in their infinite wisdom have decided that as of next term lunch will be reduced to 30 minutes, making it only ten minutes longer than break. Whilst this does mean school will finish at 14:50, it does seem to be another show of the school fixing the issue in the most haphazard way imaginable. The problem arises from there being 1,300 kids in September, and not enough recreational space for them to be in. The way the school think they can solve this is by keeping the lack of space, just putting the students in it for less time, I assume under the impression that with fifteen minutes less lunch there is less time for things to go wrong. I dunno...

Again, the school have been tight-fisted in the least useful moment, and have opted for the cheapest, least helpful idea. They could have tried sourcing alternate recreational space; perhaps hiring land back off UCS and using some of the playing fields behind the school. Or - and this may be a bit out there - going back to letting lower years out at lunch, like we had before (which would, by the way, cost the school nothing).

And what's the best bit? This construction won't be finished for two academic years, which means students as far down as Year 10 will never see the benefits, only the sacrifices. Happy holidays!


We will be taking a break over the summer, but we will be back to report on the goings-on of the results week. Then, we'll take another break, and will be back in September. 

All Heil The Queen

BREAKING NEWS: The Buzz and The Buzz on Sunday have released a series of articles detailing the publication's recent discovery of secret childhood tapes in which the Head (of State), HRH Jacques I, is seen to partake in anarchistic activities. 

Despite deploring the ideologies of anarchism publicly, taking serious offence to the acts of 'mad writing' and 'fruity language', the footage sees a young Jacques attempting to get into the 100 club in Camden, wearing flares with his hair long. The ETC., the magazine seen as the monarch's mouthpiece, has yet to issue a comment, but is expected to by sometime next year.

In one of the scenes in the video, Jacques is seen singing, rather aptly, lyrics of the popular Sex Pistols song 'God Save the Queen'. Perhaps they were right, and the monarchy really is a 'fascist regime'.

Monday, 13 July 2015

More Suspect than a 1970's TV Presenter

You know those millions of automated, badly spelled, emails and texts your parents get from the school? Have you ever wondered about how much they cost the school? Have you ever wanted to know what happens to that sensitive information you hand over to Hampstead School?

The school doesn't actually run its own communication infrastructure; they're too thick to be able to do that (knowing their track record, we're surprised they can tie their own shoelaces). Instead, they contract it out to a company under the name of Keep Kids Safe. And the address of a company called Keep Kids Safe? 1 Yewtree Avenue (we kid you not).

According to Savile Ltd. Keep Kids Safe's schools brochure, they charge 6p per text to a mobile. Seemingly nothing, until you multiply that by the 1,300 students at Hampstead. Every one of those texts costs the school at least £78 to send, and could be more, as some students have more than one parent's mobile number on the system, Now, since the school have sent an estimated 30 of these texts in the last year, the cost in one year alone has reached £2,340.

According to their brochure, their system is easily implemented, and one of their processes of transfer is something called a "mail merge". Now, what does that remind us of? Oh yeah... Despite residing over the school's communication system during the time in which the school leaked their own records of the personal data of over 400 students and respective parents, their websites claims: "we have considerable experience handling sensitive and confidential information".

Keep Kids Safe is actually a part of an umbrella company by the name of CMM Technology Ltd, which is, would you believe it, a registered company with the Information Commissioner's Office. We thought we would have a look at their entry in the ICO's database, and found that despite processing "sensitive classes of information that may include physical or mental health details; racial or ethnic origin; religious or other beliefs", they share their information with, but not limited to, "suppliers and service providers", "financial organisations" and "employment and recruitment agencies" as well as on occasion having to "transfer personal information overseas".

So, the next time you are updating your information for the school system, you can wonder yourself silly as to where that information will end up, how safe it is, and how much it is costing the school for their privilege.

Friday, 10 July 2015

iCouldn'tBeArsed

Following in the wake of this year's school production, 'iLove', in which the school desperately tried to make Shakespeare more relevant to da yutes, we have decided to publish the key scenes from the script...

PROLOGUE
Two endz, both alike in dignity,
In fair Quad, where we lay our scene,
From muad grudge break to new mutiny,
Where civil blood makes red pitch unclean.
From dem fatal junk of these two foes
A pair of star-cross'd mandem take their life;

---SCENE I: Capulet's back cage---
Enter De ROMEO


De ROMEO
Listen yeah, man wants to link 1 gash still.
How is man going to find her.
Bare hassle havin to climb dat drainpipe
why does capulets have to live in Westcroft, bruv.

JULIETISHA appears above at a window, WhatsAppForSooth on her phone

JULIETISHA
Aight cuz, wag1

[tick] Seen at 23:19

De ROMEO
Aye 
[tick]

Not much, u?
Ur well fit imo [emoji emoji]

JULIETISHA
Oi, De Romeo, De Romeo, were u @ g?

De ROMEO
Lurkin' down in ur private garden [winky face]

---Scene something, Act properly---
Julietisha awakens from her slumber.

JULIETISHA
Oi cuz, were De Romeo?

Noise within

FRYUP LAURENCE
Whas dat? Sounds lyk he is dere.

JULIETISHA
Oi crap, he is totes ded, fam!
He has drink some dodge jager, man
Kisses him
FRYUP LAURENCE
Eugh, dat is well mingin'.
You a necro or sun'?

JULIETISHA
Look, bruv, a shank!
Snatching De ROMEO's dagger, Stabs herself
Oh no, I am kill,
RIP me.
Falls on De ROMEO's body, and dies.

Thursday, 9 July 2015

The Underground Strikes Back

Today Londoners witnessed a 24 hour walk out by Tube staff over TfL introducing all-night services, arguing that it will make the hours worked more unsociable, despite TfL recruiting an extra 137 drivers so that the amount of hours does not change massively, only occasionally when those hours are. It has also offered a £2,000 "transitional bonus" for the drivers affected, but the unions argue that this will not result in a permanent pay increase for those having to do overnight shifts.

The main point of contention, and the reason why so many people feel the strike was unnecessary, is if this is too much to ask. A driver's starting salary is £49,673, according to Transport for London, and with this they typically work a 36-hour week and get 43 days of leave every year. Compare this with a teacher's average salary - £34,600 for a full-time teacher - as well as average working time for a secondary school teacher being 63.3 hours, you can see that the unions may be asking slightly too much.

Perhaps the powers that be should assert that shaping the future of a country is more important than shipping tourists from Heathrow to the west end. It's not as if the train unions are helping themselves; everyone has the right to strike if they don't agree with their pay and working conditions, but if you do it constantly, it loses its ability to enact change. Rather than being an extreme occurrence that forces politicians and companies to act, it becomes something that only creates mild annoyance and vigorous tutting.