Principal’s Blog – 4th December 2015

Daniel Britton

Minsthorpe – At The Leading Edge

The Schools, Students and Teachers Network held its National Conference in Manchester on 3rd – 4th December and the theme this year was "Closing the gaps, while raising the bar". This sums up our mission here at Minsthorpe: we want to enable our students to fulfil their full potential and ours is a culture of no excuses in which we encourage our students to be all that they can be.

The college was asked to lead a workshop session on the innovative data analysis system that we have created at Minsthorpe and Peter Atherton (our Data Manager) and Mark Gilmore (the Vice Principal responsible for Achievement and Standards) showed how we use data here to inform staff planning and to encourage student progression and success.

Ofsted inspectors were impressed with the data analysis systems they saw at Minsthorpe Community College, stating that it was "the best example of a data system with widespread classroom use we have ever seen." We continue to spread our message on a national stage!

Youth Speaks


Daniel Britton has launched his candidacy for the Youth Parliament this week and we are pleased to upload the video launch of his manifesto. Under the Make Your Mark banner, the UK Youth Parliament offers the largest consultation for young people in the country and provides opportunities for 11-18 year olds to use their elected voice to bring about social change. Almost a million young people voted on the priorities for the UK Youth Parliament in 2016 and they are:

  • a living wage
  • a curriculum to prepare young people for life
  • cheaper transport for all
  • improving mental health services
  • tackling racism

We need young people like Daniel to stand up and be counted and wish him well in the forthcoming elections in the New Year.

Combat Stress

On December 4th 1917, well-known psychiatrist W.H. Rivers presented his report The Repression of War Experience, based on his work treating soldiers who suffered from psychological traumas as a result of their service on the battlefield. By the end of World War I, the army had been forced to deal with 80,000 cases of "shell shock," a term first used in 1917 by a medical officer named Charles Myers to describe the physical damage done to soldiers on the front lines during exposure to heavy bombardment. Those who suffered from mental breakdown during their service life received little or no sympathy. Indeed, during the First World War, if it led to failure to obey orders, death by firing squad was always a possibility. Today, we take a much more enlightened view and accept that we have a duty of care to those service men and women who have been physically and psychologically damaged by war.

Not long ago, I represented the college at the memorial service that honoured those who have served their country. We need to remember that Post Traumatic Stress Disorder affects many ex-service men and women of all ages – and their families – and to do our bit to support the valuable work done by veterans’ mental health charities such as Combat Stress.

Ray Henshaw