Wycombe High School Reviews

Updated Feb 19, 2021

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3.2
54%
Recommend to a Friend
41%
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Wycombe High School Headteacher Sharon Cromie (no image)
Sharon Cromie
7 Ratings

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  1. 5.0
    Current Employee

    Clear progression

    Oct 14, 2020 - Teacher 
    Recommend
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    Pros

    Great staff and students. Progressive and clear vision for the school

    Cons

    Sometimes communication could be improved

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  2. 3.0
    Former Employee, more than 3 years

    Good School, Better People

    Feb 19, 2021 - Teacher in High Wycombe, England, England
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    Pros

    Students are great and make the job easy

    Cons

    Quite heavy workload however i have had heavier since

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  4. 4.0
    Former Contractor

    Forward thinking

    Sep 15, 2020 - Visiting Teacher 
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    Pros

    Great to be part of a forward thinking, inclusive team

    Cons

    Some staff not adaptable to change

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  5. 5.0
    Current Employee, more than 5 years

    Fantastic School; Fantastic colleagues; and super students

    Nov 25, 2019 - Manager in High Wycombe, England, England
    Recommend
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    Pros

    Forward thinking school with dedicated colleagues. Great culture & ethos. Lots of example of internal promotions to leadership positions. And I was delighted to get 2.7% pay rise paid in September, no hanging about. School also doing a lot to address workloads and work life balance. Schools are busy, it this one is really working hard to hear us and make things as good as they can be. Reduced contact time, fewer evenings, less reporting and data etc. Governors, senior team and middle leaders all hard working and committed to school’s vision and values.

    Cons

    As a selective school the challenge is keeping pace with the speed students learn. Behaviour of students and their great attitudes to learning make this worthwhile

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  6. 5.0
    Current Employee, more than 3 years

    An outstanding school, an outstanding place to work

    Nov 22, 2019 - Support Staff in High Wycombe, England, England
    Recommend
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    Pros

    The staff wellbeing programme is beter here than I have come across anywhere else I have worked. It is an outstanding place to work.

    Cons

    High expectations, but then I wouldn't want to work anywhere where they didn't expect the best of their staff.

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  7. 1.0
    Former Employee

    The worst management I have ever experienced.

    Nov 10, 2017 - Anonymous Employee 
    Recommend
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    Pros

    The majority of the staff are very nice to work with, with the exception of the management. The students are polite.

    Cons

    The management of the school is completely incompetent and if you were to bring up a minor issue they will hound you and make up things you have done to start disciplinary procedures (unless you just leave as most do at this point). My resignation included a formal complaint about bullying by my line manager which was 'unsubstantiated' as there was little evidence and surprisingly enough she couldn't remember saying any of the things I documted. Since leaving in the last month the same manager is already treating one of my colleagues in the same way.

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    1 person found this review helpful
  8. 1.0
    Former Employee

    Perhaps OK for maximum of 2 years-then move on

    Sep 23, 2017 - Anonymous Employee 
    Recommend
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    Pros

    The pupils are largely co-operative and biddable, meaning that you can carry out a planned lesson.

    Cons

    Management is dictatorial and divisive, encouraging unseemly competition for pupils between departments, and within departments. I've never known a school have so many staff and pupils suffer from stress and depression: this situation is recognised by Occupational Health.

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    2 people found this review helpful
  9. 1.0
    Former Employee

    Handle with care and only apply if you have no other reasonable options!

    Aug 23, 2016 - Head of Department 
    Recommend
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    Pros

    Own desk in department area in a large and busy staffroom. Lovely views from the staffroom window. A great place to learn a lot for a year or two at the beginning of a career. Staff turnover is phenomenal so a great way to make lots of contacts that then move elsewhere. Get a good sense of what is "out there" and don't tend to feel any sense of loyalty to the school as very few stay very long.

    Cons

    If you are singled out for "the treatment" you will be hounded in the expectation that you will go. If not of your own free will then incidents will be invented (from a tiny seed of truth) or exaggerated and distorted and then a list of them collected to be used to make out you really are an incompetent or unprofessional teacher. When that first starts it is best to get out. There is no support. (It mostly happens to the over 45's who are not career-minded and are happy to remain classroom teachers and have interests outside of school - that is the usual profile.) The facade presented to the world is so professional and convincing and other teachers who have suffered the same fate are too scared to say anything that one has no recourse to any kind of redress. Indeed those who didn't know would suspect paranoia on the part of the teacher being subjected to the treatment. I certainly lost a lot of confidence and became quite ill. Even then, when ill at home, I was hounded by the school to make my grievance a formal written one (futile as leadership know how to hide things and cover for each other). My union were fantastic and a few people who were going through similar - or ex colleagues who had done so - kept me going. The medical authorities to whom I was referred had all heard about the local school with the "problem" which helped me realise it was not just me. Now I am at a school where I am valued and respected and have regained all that I lost at Wycombe High.

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    3 people found this review helpful
  10. 1.0
    Current Employee, more than 5 years

    Some changes are long overdue

    Feb 13, 2015 - Teacher in High Wycombe, England, England
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    Pros

    Facilities for students are generally very good, for example science labs have been refurbished; the school has an excellent library, good ICT facilities and a very well-supported VLE. It is a selective school, so the students are able and often very confident – they will always achieve excellent examination results. Most teachers are highly committed, supporting a wide range of extra-curricular opportunities and trips. The support staff are amazing, and work exceptionally hard to keep everything running smoothly. Staff facilities are also reasonably good and the freshly brewed coffee at break is a hit.

    Cons

    It is very difficult to evaluate the motives of the management of this school without drawing unsavoury conclusions about their ambitions. Some of the behaviour of higher tiers oscillates between ineptitude and oppression. Some individuals can be unnecessarily unpleasant or simply dishonest, and there is very little team spirit – more an atmosphere of ‘us and them’: the downtrodden hoi polloi and those with power. Senior staff will not stop short of blatant plagiarism or unscrupulous and dishonest treatment of those who dare to question the actions of the highly autocratic leadership. This generates a degree of uncertainty, a loss of confidence in the staffrooms, and an unnecessarily high staff turnover, with many of the better and more experienced staff being amongst the first to jump ship. Some valued staff mysteriously ‘disappear’ without a word being said, which is very unsettling. There is also an unhealthy over-emphasis on tests, exams, league tables and ‘pleasing Ofsted’. Teachers are under relentless pressure and frankly, staff morale is generally quite poor. This is not helped when those who do ‘escape’, to equally successful schools, talk of regaining their confidence, or actually being treated like an adult.

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    7 people found this review helpful
  11. 1.0
    Current Employee, more than 10 years

    "Oh, what a tangled web we weave...when first we practice to deceive."

    Jan 26, 2015 - Former Employee in Reading, England, England
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    The greatest assets of Wycombe High School are the children, who are mostly delightful to teach. They respond well to good teaching and achieve excellent examination results. The participation in extra-curricular activities is very high, with outstanding achievements in areas such as sport, music and drama. The Subject Leaders vary in quality, but the majority are highly committed and support their teams well. The parents are also an asset, as most are highly supportive of their daughters, although, inevitable in such a school, there is a small minority of over-pushy parents whose 'little darlings' deserve your attention every hour of the day.

    Cons

    The overwhelming issue at Wycombe High School is the over-controlling and over-promoted leadership They have been described by many as unscrupulous, manipulative, deceitful and even poisonous, and the ethos of the team is ‘do as I say’ rather than ‘do as I do’. Many staff despair that the true aims of the school are not as stated, but in reality they are to promote the career of a few individuals, and possibly their not-so-carefully chosen conspirators. Consultations with staff and students about major changes are heavily managed to achieve the required outcome. Sycophantic pen-pushers are promoted, not for their talents, vision or their abilities, but for their obsequious qualities. The toxic blend of excessive control and overwhelming bureaucracy , is a key factor in the high staff turnover. A great pity, as the school has the potential to be both outstanding in Ofsted terms, and a more stable and a much happier place for staff and students. When colleagues are ill-treated (an all too frequent occurrence), the majority of staff are unwilling to offer public support, for fear of becoming the next in the firing line. The management will go to extraordinary underhand lengths to get rid of people they do not like, including respected and talented teachers.

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    7 people found this review helpful
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