Wycombe High School Reviews | Glassdoor.co.uk

Wycombe High School Reviews

Updated Nov 10, 2017

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Wycombe High School CEO Sharon Cromie (no image)
Sharon Cromie
5 Ratings
  1. "The worst management I have ever experienced."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee 
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Wycombe High School part-time

    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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    Advice to Management

    Listen to your staff. You have hone to great length to emplyer competent and knowledgeable people, make them feel valued and they will stay and be more willing to go the extra mile!

    Wycombe High School2017-11-10
  2. "Perhaps OK for maximum of 2 years-then move on"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee 
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Wycombe High School part-time

    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.

    Advice to Management

    You'd find care and kindness to pupils and staff alike would be repaid a hundredfold. Their loyalty and support would amaze you and contribute a sense of unity and fulfilment for all. People would no longer feel bullied and continually censured by a critical, distant, impersonal 'leadership' team.

    Wycombe High School2017-09-23
  3. Helpful (2)

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

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Senior Management
    Head of Department 
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Wycombe High School

    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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    Advice to Management

    I don't think management are able to hear advice. Its as if they don't even see (or care) how cruel their relentless hounding is. As long as they look good on paper... Needs fresh blood infused with large dose of humanity.

    Wycombe High School2016-08-23
  4. Helpful (5)

    "Some changes are long overdue"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Teacher in High Wycombe, England
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Wycombe High School full-time for more than 5 years

    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.

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    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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    Advice to Management

    The governors would be well advised to put an end to the cronyism that undoubtedly takes place at this school, particular, but not exclusively, regarding internal appointments of senior staff. A thorough investigation into the unchecked behaviour of senior managers is long overdue, and fresh blood and more honesty are urgently needed at the top.

    Wycombe High School2015-02-13
  5. Helpful (5)

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

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Former Employee in Reading, England
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Wycombe High School full-time for more than 10 years

    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.

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    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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    Advice to Management

    It is difficult to offer any advice to people who are far too arrogant to take constructive any form of criticism, but my advice to the governing body is to not allow all the information their receive to be filtered by the school's very effective propaganda machine. Instead, get out there amongst ALL the staff and students and find out what is REALLY going on. All is not what it seems.

    Wycombe High School2015-01-26
Found 5 reviews