Warblington School

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by Warblington School's best practice article

The ability to listen and learn from one another has always been vital in parliament, in business and in most aspects of daily life. But at this particular moment in time, as national and global events continue to reiterate, it is uncommonly crucial that we forge new channels of communication and reinforce existing ones. The following article from Warblington School is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.

Blunkett signature Rt Hon The Lord David Blunkett
Pickles signature Rt Hon The Lord Eric Pickles


Literacy support through peer
Student voice is an important
aspect of changing a culture
When Julia Vincent arrived at Warblington School in
2012 the culture, was characterised by a cavalier
attitude to learning and a casual indifference to
authority by a significant number of the students. The student’s
behaviour was acceptable as long as they were not asked to
work too hard or taken out of their comfort zone. Education
was something that was done to them, not with them and they
took no responsibility for their own learning. Since becoming
head teacher since years ago, Julia Vincent has focused on
raising teaching standards and improving behaviour and this
simple approach has certainly yielded results.
Warblington sits on the edge of Leigh Park, a large council estate with significant
levels of deprivation. Approximately one third of students at Warblington are
eligible for pupil premium funding. The intake is heavily white, British working
class. My focus since working at Warblington has always been on better teaching.
If you concentrate entirely on the teachers, however, you can end up with teachers
who are working harder than the students. Therefore, we have a parallel focus on
improving behaviour. The banning of mobile phones in school was an important
move and the impact has been to focus students in class, but also to lessen
the incidents of bullying, sexual exploitation and off task behaviour during the
The rules at Warblington are very simple. Be prepared, be respectful and be safe.
All rules are encapsulated within these three overarching statements. Assemblies are
used to spell out expectations and if students have behaved well they are rewarded
»Head teacher: Julia Vincent
since 2012
»Year Founded: 1954
»Location: Havant, Hampshire
»Type of School: 11-16 mixed
local authority comprehensive
»No. of students: 679
»42 teaching staff, 41 associate
»32% Pupil premium
»16% SEND
Warblington School
Highlighting best practice
during the assembly. Conversely,
names of students who should stay
behind after the assembly are also read
out. This acts as a deterrent to other
students, but we ensure all discussions
with regards to under achievement
and bad behaviour are done in private.
If a student has behaved badly one
week, it is important to catch them
behaving well the next week and
publicly praisethem.
Rewards are an important part of our
culture and they seek to reinforce
our expected and desired behavioural
standards. Rewards are usually points,
verbal praise, written commendations,
or a reward trip. As a part of our
Key Stage 4 strategy, parents write
a letter to their children just prior to
the start of the GCSE exam period.
Many of the letters are wonderful with
parents telling their children just how
proud they are of them. If a parent or
carerfails to write in support of their
child, then a member of staff will write
Student voice has played a strong
part in changing a culture; it ensures
students feel valued and an important
part of the educational process. For
example, student voice said that the
food in the canteen was poor quality
and expensive and we agreed. Over
time, we employed our own chef,
bought fresh local produce and cooked
it on the premises. We now have
record numbers of students eating
freshly cooked produce every day.
We have taken the last two years to
embed a rights respecting culture
across the school. This is based on
the UNICEF rights of a child. Students
have helped identify the six rights most
important to us at Warblington School.
We are now awaiting an accreditation
visit, which will confirm that rights
respecting values are embedded in the
school curriculum as well as in non-
structured time.
Since 2014 behaviour in the school
has been good. To achieve this, we
developed an inclusion team consisting
of a school nurse, a home and school
link worker, an attendance officer, a
careers officer, a counsellor and retired
members of the public who listen to
students. Over time, the work of this
committed and multi-skilled team has
become a cornerstone of the school’s
attitude towards inclusion. I believe
that students should be included and
not excluded. The criminal justice
system is littered with students who
have been permanently excluded from
schools. Therefore, part of my passion
has been ensuring that students stay at
Warblington School, take GCSEs and
have the chance to go on to FE College
or an apprenticeship.
Building effective
relationships through
learning is crucial
Confidence breeds
If a student has
behaved badly
one week, it is
important to
catch them
behaving well
the next week
and publicly
praise them
The team go to extraordinary lengths
to make home visits, to bring non-
attending students in to school and
to provide safe spaces for students to
work who do not have them at home.
Our school counsellor is a retired naval
captain and provides an appropriate
role model for many students who
lack them. He ensures they attend
interviews for college, prepares them
for the experience. Our careers advisor
will look at alternative experiences for
some students who are finding the full
range of the curriculum inappropriate.
All this allows so many students to
stay included and move through the
school experience. No student has
been permanently excluded from
Warblington School since 2012. With
a decrease in school funding, however,
we will find it increasingly difficult to
employ such skilled and dedicated
individuals, exclusion rates are already
on the rise across England and much
of this will bea direct correlation to
less funding for schools. Schools must
teach the students they have and not
the ones they might like. Perversely due
to the way in which the new National
Funding Formula works, schools with
higher levels of deprivation will receive
less funding than schools with lower
deprivation levels.
Student leadership has also supported
changing our culture. All students
in years 7 and 8 participate in a
student leadership programme which
encourages them to develop small
projects for the benefit of others in the
school community or wider. Beyond
this we run a student leadership
team which mirrors my team. They
lead and support other students in
raising money for charity. They also
lead a peer-reading project as well as
developing rights respecting initiatives
within the school. Our wider prefect
team is about 40 strong and starts
with a development scheme in year
10. Apprentice prefects are linked to
departments to support teachers and
students in that area and start to learn
about the wider aspects of school life.
The journey remains unfinished;
however, the school is very different
now to when we started, it is values
driven and has a moral purpose.
Lessons are purposeful, behaviour
for learning is good and the majority
of students really care about their
learning and their future. There are
still students who lack self-esteem
and don t respect themselves enough
yet to value their learning. Out of 35
disadvantaged students in the 2017
cohort, however, only four students
had a negative impact on outcomes.
We will continue to work with
I believe that
should be
included and
not excluded
Gaining self-esteem
through performance
Performance brings a
school together


This article was sponsored by Warblington School. The Parliamentary Review is wholly funded by the representatives who write for it. The publication in which this article originally appeared contained the following foreword from The Rt Hon Theresa May MP.

The Rt Hon Theresa May MP's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review

By The Rt Hon Theresa May MP

This foreword from the then Prime Minister appeared in the 2018/19 Parliamentary Review.

British politics provides ample material for analysis in the pages of The Parliamentary Review. For Her Majesty’s Government, our task in the year ahead is clear: to achieve the best Brexit deal for Britain and to carry on our work to build a more prosperous and united country – one that truly works for everyone. 

The right Brexit deal will not be sufficient on its own to secure a more prosperous future for Britain. We also need to ensure that our economy is ready for what tomorrow will bring. Our Modern Industrial Strategy is our plan to do that. It means Government stepping up to secure the foundations of our productivity: providing an education system that delivers the skills our economy needs, improving school standards and transforming technical education; delivering infrastructure for growth; ensuring people have the homes they need in the places they want to live. It is all about taking action for the long-term that will pay dividends in the future.

But it also goes beyond that. Government, the private sector and academia working together as strategic partners achieve far more than we could separately. That is why we have set an ambitious goal of lifting UK public and private research and development investment to 2.4 per cent of GDP by 2027. It is why we are developing four Grand Challenges, the big drivers of social and economic change in the world today: harnessing artificial intelligence and the data revolution; leading in changes to the future of mobility; meeting the challenges of our ageing society; and driving ahead the revolution in clean growth. By focusing our efforts on making the most of these areas of enormous potential, we can develop new exports, grow new industries and create more good jobs in every part of our country.

Years of hard work and sacrifice from the British people have got our deficit down by over three quarters. We are building on this success by taking a balanced approach to public spending. We are continuing to deal with our debts, so that our economy can remain strong and we can protect people’s jobs, and at the same time we are investing in vital public services, like our NHS. We have set out plans to increase NHS funding annually by an average by 3.4 percent in real terms: that is £394 million a week more. In return, the NHS will produce a ten-year plan, led by doctors and nurses, to eliminate waste and improve patient care.

I believe that Britain can look to the future with confidence. We are leaving the EU and setting a new course for prosperity as a global trading nation. We have a Modern Industrial Strategy that is strengthening the foundations of our economy and helping us to seize the opportunities of the future. We are investing in the public services we all rely on and helping them to grow and improve. Building on our country’s great strengths – our world-class universities and researchers, our excellent services sector, our cutting edge manufacturers, our vibrant creative industries, our dedicated public servants – we can look towards a new decade that is ripe with possibility. The government I lead is doing all it can to make that brighter future a reality for everyone in our country. 

British politics provides ample material for analysis in the pages of The Parliamentary Review 
The Rt Hon Theresa May MP
Prime Minister