'Honesty is best' with the media

4th December 1998 at 00:00
TROUBLESHOOTING headteachers sent to the Ridings school in Halifax have urged teachers not to shun journalists.

Peter Clark and Anna White shared their experiences at a TESBBC Schools and the Media conference in London on Monday, after turning the "worst school in Britain" into what the Sun called "the school from heaven".

Mr Clark, now back at Rastrick high school, near Halifax, and Ms White, currently headteacher at The Ridings, arrived in October 1996 to find the school frozen in the media spotlight.

They started a successful campaign to change the school's image by inviting newspapers to report positive news, although some journalists felt the coverage was being orchestrated and returned later to film outside the school.

Mr Clark said a more honest and open approach was required in dealing with the media.

"People in a local community admire you if you say black is black and don't confuse the issue," he said.

He felt the tabloids had helped the school come out of special measures sooner than expected. They had made amends for "disgraceful" stories and some reporters had earned "grudging respect" by apologising to pupils.

"The Quick and Dirty Guide to PR for Schools" was launched at the conference and is published by the Institute for Public Relations for Schools at Pounds 3. Tel 01249 706561.

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number


The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now