Monday 31 July 2017: in response to media enquiries and in the interests of clarity and openness, the Wynberg Boys' Junior School Governing Body have released an official statement regarding the disciplinary letter issued to a pupil on Thursday 27 July.
At the start of each new term we closely monitor the general appearance of our boys in terms of uniform and hair in accordance with the school policy. Letters are sent to families should any remedial action be required.
In terms of the communication sent to the families, an example of which was shared to social media, our School’s wording of the notification is something that has been highlighted as a problem for which we have apologised. It is the tone of this letter, not the School’s request to the parents, that caused offence.
As soon as this issue was brought to our attention on Friday morning 28 July, we contacted the parent concerned, the Headmaster met with him as he would with any parental query on request, and the issue was resolved amicably by 2pm. We agreed that the tone of the letter was at the heart of this issue.
While it is regrettable that this situation has been misconstrued on social media, and even by some of the main news networks, we seize this as an opportunity to accelerate our efforts to maintain and develop the ethos of respect at the heart of our diversity.
We will continue to examine and revise the way our policies are communicated, and the way that they are interpreted and applied to ensure that they are fair to all. These policies are approved by the School Governing Body, and are by no means the opinion of any one member of staff.
Wynberg Boys’ Junior School, and our brother school Wynberg Boys’ High, entered into an in depth social cohesion review in January 2016, a process in which we continue to address, discuss and amend our policies. We pride ourselves on the inclusive and consultative approach by which we shape our ethos; an inclusivity of all role players, our boys, families, staff and old boys.
Part of our 2016 Parent Survey identified a need for a fresh look at how we communicate with our families. This incident reminds us that there is still work to be done, and highlights a gap between review and implementation of our work so far. This we will prioritise.
Wynberg Boys’ Junior School is proud to be a leading inclusive school in which all cultures and creeds are accepted and respected. While our transformation journey began pre-1994, we see it as a continuous process - this incident strengthens our resolve to ensure that every aspect of our life reflects these values.
Headmaster, Wynberg Boys' Junior School,
on behalf of the WBJS Governing Body.
021 762 5707
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