Red-top headline unfair to school

27th May 2005 at 01:00
We are writing to express our disappointment at a news item headed "Bully row head up for award" (TES Cymru, May 20).

The article stated that Alun Griffiths, headteacher of Cefn Saeson school, Neath, has been shortlisted for the Welsh headteacher of the year award.

This information formed a fragment of a much larger news item which outlined a recent inquest into the death of a former Cefn Saeson pupil, Laura Rhodes.

This inquest clearly stated that Cefn Saeson was not responsible for Laura's death.

During the inquest, the school finally got the opportunity to outline the exemplary manner in which it had tried to help Laura.

Sadly, since Laura's death, the school has been the victim of numerous tabloid misrepresentations and cheap headlines. Imagine, then, our sadness at seeing TES Cymru lower its journalistic standards to the red-top shorthand of "Bully row head".

Mr Griffiths does not deserve to be dismissed so crudely. To refer to him as such belittles his achievements. That he has reached the awards finals in Wales indicates that the judges recognise his many fine qualities.

Peter Jones

Deputy head, staff and pupils Cefn Saeson school

Afan Valley Road, Cimla, Neath

Editor's note: The May 20 story stated the coroner's finding that Cefn Saeson was not responsible for Laura's death, and highlighted an Estyn report which praised the school.

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