Academy head’s warped priorities: A Roke by any other name?

There has been a civil emergency going on in the Kenley area of Croydon for the past week.

Roke badgeResidents of homes in one road have faced the prospect of being flooded out. The A22 Godstone Road has been impassable because of the rising water levels.

The fire brigade and other emergency services have had to work night and day to pump water away from a waterworks to try to allow it to maintain supplies to 25,000 people locally.

And the local primary school has had to evacuate its pupils, some aged as young as five, twice in three days.

So how does the “principal” of the now academised primary school, run by an organisation set-up by a carpet salesman, respond to this crisis?

Why, she gets her “PA” – yes, primary schools have “principals” with “personal assistants”, and probably pretensions above their true station – to send an email to Inside Croydon at seven minutes before 11pm on a Friday night. And what is the urgent matter which is so exercising Kate Magliocco at this time?

The email says (please note, the grammatical error is from the original email from a primary school):

“Having read two of your reports over the past two days, It appears that you keep forgetting what our school is called.  You quote Roke Primary, which as you know is no longer.

“When writing your next article you should quote the correct school name which is ‘Harris Primary Academy Kenley’, you may add ‘formally known as Roke Primary’ if you must.

“We would be grateful if you could kindly quote our correct name in future.”

Kate Magliocco: clearly has too much time on her hands

Kate Magliocco: clearly has too much time on her hands

The email carries the imprint of Magliocco’s PA, so we are making the assumption that it was sent on instruction.

Magliocco, if she is not too busy dealing with real priorities such as a flooded primary school, might want to consider the following:

  • Our first report to use the name Roke Primary was re-producing directly an email from Croydon Council. We thought that much was obvious. If she still thinks it is a matter deserving of her urgent attention (and we don’t), then she may want to consider taking the matter up with them.
  • The re-naming of Roke Primary was done against the wishes of the schoolchildren’s parents.
  • There is already in existence another Kenley Primary School, which as the parents advised is something which can only create confusion. This is especially the case at times of emergency, such as the current floods. No one would want emergency services attending the original Kenley Primary, for instance, when they are required at Roke.

So we thank Magliocco for her interest in Inside Croydon, advise her that we we will continue to refer to the primary school at which she works in the way in which we see fit, and we suggest that she might want to re-assess her priorities. We’re sure that she’d be able to book herself in on several crisis management courses in the coming months.

If Inside Croydon’s loyal reader wishes to express their views on Magliocco’s somewhat warped priorities, they may wish to email her at Roke Primary at this address:

  • To report rising groundwater levels or flooding, residents are asked to call the Environment Agency Incident Hotline on 0800 80 70 60. You can also sign up to the free groundwater Flood Alert/Warning service by calling Floodline on 0845 988 1188.

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News, views and analysis about the people of Croydon, their lives and political times in the diverse and most-populated borough in London. Based in Croydon and edited by Steven Downes. To contact us, please email
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21 Responses to Academy head’s warped priorities: A Roke by any other name?

  1. ndavies144 says:

    Don’t cap up the ‘primary’ if it upsets her so much.

    Good job the Mayday doesn’t admonish everyone who calls it thus, rather than for an imaginary university. They wouldn’t have much time left for making people better.

  2. davidcallam says:

    As the oldest trainee in the newsroom, some years ago, I was taught that people have a right to be called what they want to be called, adding the line ‘formerly known as’ if that is necessary to avoid confusion.
    I note you also insist on referring to Croydon University Hospital by its former name, Mayday, which is inaccurate and detracts from the credibility of your reports.

    • People, David, yes. But public institutions? Name-changing institutions are usually doing so for “reputational reasons”, an attempt to re-write their history. They can try to do that if they wish. We just happen to believe that most that try to do so make themselves appear ridiculous.

      As far as the “Croydon University Hospital” is concerned, we intend to call Mayday that on the day that Croydon has a university.

      Meanwhile, back on the point of this post: should the head teacher of a flood-hit school be getting their secretary (or you can re-title them “principal” and “PA” if you wish to share their delusions of grandeur) to send out such a pointless letter?

  3. Marie Maddox says:

    As a parent at the school I am really surprised that blog like Inside Croydon has reacted in such a way. Many parents and children at the school are keen to move on from Roke and welcomed the academy chain and we would prefer our school to be referred to correctly. The children themselves constantly correct people as to the change. I am disappointed and frustrated by the local press in general. This article reads like a spoilt childish and disproportionate rant I’m afraid not a balanced comment which is what I would expect if this blog is to be taken seriously.

    • So you’re not at all concerned by your head teacher’s… sorry, principal’s warped priorities in getting her secretary… sorry, PA, to send out the letter (which provides the bulk of this posting) at a time of emergency?

      That says much.

      By the way, we don’t allow anonymous posters on this site, to avoid disproportionate rants. So we have used your real name, rather than the pseudonym you offered.

      • I agree.Ths article is pointless really,unbalanced and the facts are wrong.The name has changed so the head quite rightly asked you to refer to the school by the new name.Whether you agree with the new administration or not,whether it’s in the middle of a flood or not,Inside Croydon referred to a local school by the wrong name so that is bad reporting and should be corrected.

        • “Unbalanced”? Are you serious?

          We published the school’s letter. How much more balanced can you get than that?

          If you want to live in a make-believe world where people refer to Roke Primary by a name that is the same as that of another school in the same area, that’s up to you. It just seems that you may be in a very small minority.

  4. Marie Maddox says:

    I am very happy to be named. It would be interesting to see you name yourself – that way we may see why you are taking such a vested interest in ranting at the academy? People working hard and working late – that seems like a good work ethic to me. As a parent the school needs to be left alone to get on with the business of teaching not have the email system clogged up with time-wasters views on whether sending emails at night is a priority or not. The daytime priority was managing the school safely. I look forward to a photo and name so we can see who you are and have the mystery solved.

    • Rant? Really? Where?

      The only ranter seems to be you, with your stream of consciousness comments in defence of the indefensible.

      And you really ought to get your facts straight.

      The site editor’s name is on every page of this website. At least twice.

  5. Having been a parent of a pupil at Roke Primary School, I can honestly say that moving my child to a different school was the absolutely best decision I could’ve made.

    My child is my priority and the priority of the school they now attend. This would quite clearly not be the case if they had remained at “Roke”.

    I suppose it wouldn’t be so bad if the school was a pleasant and happy environment for ALL children, but this is seemingly not the case as the people who should be looking after the welfare of the kids are more bothered about a stupid name.

    For people who have lived in the area for many years the school will ALWAYS be referred to as Roke and the sooner people realise this and get on with actually improving the school, the better for all concerned

  6. Marie Maddox says:

    There is an impact on children, parents and prospective parents for those who remain at the school and for those who join each year. Not everyone wants to change school nor indeed can they so making the very best of a situation would seem to be the right outcome for many. Whatever the school’s name, many of us are tired of watching it being dragged through the mud. The fact is it does have a new name and new identity like it or not and we watch most other schools referred to with their new name. For some reason Roke is an exception but I hope time will change that.

    • The reason that Roke – we note that you still refer to it by that name – continues to attract such attention is that… the school’s management continue to draw attention to it for the wrong reasons.

  7. Kelly Cardoo says:

    Just wished that the negative press would stop now, the school will never be able to regain a positive light within the local community if we are dragged through the press at every turn.

    I for one am pleased the principals priorities on Friday was for my children and the school. What happens out of school hours isn’t warped to me, it just shows that the staff currently working at the academy aren’t just there for 9 to 3.15 and sending emails at 11pm proves this point.

    A dedicated team working to bring this school back to where it belongs.

    • You need to ask whether the school’s academy management creates the “negative press” it receives. Such as sending out emails on relatively petty issues when in the midst of a civil emergency. The sole reason we ran the story is because of the email. Was that sent out with the best interests of the pupils at heart?

  8. As former parents at Roke, I feel so much relief to have moved my son to a school where the head cares more about the children than the school image!

    I am really sorry for the poor PA who gets paid very little (I work in a school myself) and is asked to work till 11 O’clock.

  9. I stick to my earlier view that this is unbalanced.I disagree I am living in a dream world..I did a search on this site on the words Roke and Harris and every article is anti Academy,anti Gove,anti Harris so I realised that this isn’t a journalistic site with the correct integrity and reporting but yet another propaganda page.The school is trying to move on.The pupils are trying to move on.Inside Croydon is causing confusion and upset,negative feeling and asking readers to bombard the school with emails during a difficult time.How is that helpful?Surely that’s a case of warped priorities.Im sure parents at the school would not be happy that time taken reading emails caused by you should be given to running the school. Maybe readers of this should email you and waste your time. Makng a thinly covered dig at Harris and its head yet again over an email?The head had every right to ask you to use its proper name.Your facts are wrong.Your comment about still calling the local hosipital Mayday until it has a university proves that and has discredited you as a writer.It is a teaching hospital so can indeed call itself University! The emergency services as you mention would be called to and refer to the correct,current,official name of a place!This is just another forum you have created to incite anti Harris feeling.I had no opinion either way over the academy status but have friends whose children go there.Three of my five friends think the school has indeed improved and prefer it.
    You are unbalanced and your arguments to the replies are just childish.The head as figure head and spokesperson would not be honouring her school community if she didn’t ask for the new name to be used.
    In this sites introduction you claim you want to change Croydons image.This article just shows negativity and refusal to listen to logical argument.Because of that I will not use,read,refer to or recommend this site unless the articles are more balanced and use FACTS!!!

    • The sort of stream of consciousness that would leave James Joyce gasping for breath. And this from a woman who began by accusing us of ranting because we had the audacity to publish the school’s “principal’s” own email.

      And still she doesn’t get the point of the warped priorities demonstrated in that act. Oh well, some fell on stony ground.

    • David Aston says:

      A very strange reaction. Surely points of children’s safety and education pale a “title” into insignificance?

      The Chinese have a saying: “If a man has a taste for titles… let him have many”

      Think about it.

  10. David Aston says:

    Steven,I know we have had differences in the past and will probably continue to do so, but on this issue you are absolutely 100% correct.I just can’t believe what I’ve just read !! So it’s not just Mr Gove who can’t understand the priorities within our education system !

    The reaction to all this is more of a Joke than a Roke.

  11. derekthrower says:

    The sort of people you need in a crisis. The facile and delusional aspirationalist without a microgram of good judgement.

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