I have received a lot of abuse from a tiny number of people on the internet over the last year.
One or two of them are what are known as ‘trolls’. These are people who use the internet to abuse people, invariably with foul and abusive language.
What is it about cowards who can hide behind their lonely computers insulting people?
One of the issues of concern was the improved disciplinary standards at Portland and Valley Schools which led to a handful of parents running an organised campaign of abuse against me, the headteachers and the schools. So who was right?
I said that I backed the tough disciplinary approach of both schools because it would improve school results.
Better qualifications are crucial to young people getting jobs.
The results are out - with huge increases in results from both the schools plus we have good results from Selby Park in Harworth.
I was happy to put my money where my mouth is and backed the schools in a zero tolerance approach to discipline. It has worked. And it has worked big time.
Portland up to 56 oper cent in the tables, Valley up to 66 per cent, Serlby up to 64 per cent (this is the percentage of pupils who achieve grades A-C including English and Maths).
It was only a few years ago that we were seeing figures of under 30 per cent in our area.
Now we are up with the national average. But this should only be the beginning; we can do better than this.
Instead of wasting time on little Jonny or Sharon who has caused problems, I suggest that their parents be targeted.
Why do these people think they have the right to walk into schools wasting teachers’ time and abusing staff? And why do the general public keep so quiet about it?
With my own eyes I have witnessed behaviour improve. Teenagers tell me that they prefer classes that are not disrupted. Equally importantly bullying has gone down dramatically.
No doubt the handful of trolls will continue, justifying their children’s exclusions and using foul language and insults to support their arguments.
It is time that the silent majority started to speak out and to shout down the trolls. Well done Valley, well done Portland, well done Serlby Park.
Well done the teachers and the pupils! Let us see our secondary schools go from strength to strength.