How to choose a journalism course – BJTC/NCTJ/PPA

I get asked for advice on journalism courses, so I thought it easiest to post it here. There are three journalism accreditation bodies in the UK (alphabetically):

All three now validate and accredit courses that are multimedia to some extent. Continue reading

David Sheppard, Prendergast head, is a liar

David Sheppard, executive head of the Leathersellers’ Federation of Schools, covering Prendergast, is a liar. He lied to parents, then to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) and, finally, in open court to the judge in a first tier tribunal, Fiona Henderson.

David Sheppard

Liar: David Sheppard, executive headteacher, Prendergast

Journalists rarely get to write this kind of thing because UK libel law requires such a high burden of proof that it is often safer to leave out uncomfortable facts. But in this case I have a legal ruling as evidence. It follows a Freedom of Information (F0I) request I made back in May 2015. It has taken this long to get a ruling.

The ruling says:

48 i a) We are satisfied that further information was held that was in scope and was not disclosed to the Commissioner, this now forms part of the closed bundle.
b) The document attached to Mr Wheal’s email of 29.7.16 fell within the scope of request 5 and should have been disclosed to Mr Wheal.

Basically the school repeatedly said information did not exist. For example it said it sought advice from lawyers verbally and therefore had no written record of the request and no written response from the lawyers. They were later forced to admit the emails did exist and show the judge.

Everyone knows you get that sort of thing in writing. He lied to them the ICO and the judge.

Truth, Honour, Freedom and Courtesy

That’s the motto of Prendergast school, the original school in the federation.

I have said before that I felt he, and the governors, were not fit to lead an educational establishment. I have now written to the Secretary of State for Education, Justine Greening. It’s up to her what she does.

Justine Greening,

I attach a recent legal ruling in a first tier tribunal that clearly shows that David Sheppard, Executive Headteacher of Prendergast schools in Lewisham (the Leathersellers’ Federation), repeatedly lied to conceal documents and emails. He lied to parents, then to the Information Commissioner’s Office than then in court during direct questioning by the judge, Ms Fiona Henderson.

In my view such a liar is not fit to hold the office of headteacher. It is gross misconduct and he should be summarily dismissed without notice, without pay, and without compensation or pension.

I leave it for you to deal with as you see fit.

I have copied in my MP, the mayor of Lewisham and the clerk of the Leathersellers livery company.

The legal ruling

How democracy works

A rugby team (15 blokes) walk into a bar…

The player holding the whip asks what everyone wants to drink.

Five of them don’t want to be there because it’s a loud, annoying bar with no real ale and they’d rather be in the pub down the road where they could hear each other speak and drink proper beer. Those five really don’t care what they’re going to drink in this bar because none of it is what they want. Some of them say this loudly, others just shrug. Continue reading

Walk from Greenwich Meridian to Houses of Parliament

Sunday’s 12-mile walk prompted me to write the details down in case anyone else wants to follow some or all of the path.

London map

Walk from the start of time to the mother of parliaments

The walk took in:

Continue reading

Journalism is harder work for less money

Journalism has got harder. Journalists have to contact more people, more often, using email, phone and sometimes social media, such as Twitter or LinkedIn, just to get an answer. And this is all for the same money, or often less.

More PRs are barriers to information rather than enablers. It takes longer and more effort to get fewer, less interesting answers. And then you get hassled for writing the truth. Continue reading

Spamarrest: online fraud rip-off scam

Spamarrest – a bunch of fraudsters and thieves – have been taking money from me after I signed up for a free trial. They hid how to cancel. It’s a scam. Be warned. I have contacted the police and my bank.

The cheating liars at Spamarrest cleverly make the cancel option not visible on any normally accessed webpage. They have now sent a link to a page where the cancel option is available. But it is hidden on all normal web pages. And the company fails to respond to normal communication. Continue reading

London underground (tube) maps


TFL map of where London’s trains run

Three versions of the Transport for London (TfL) London Underground tube map produced this year prompted me to post about different tube maps.

The three included maps showing

But actually this kind of post has been done before so instead here are some links (new windows):

You can also buy lots of maps from TfL, showing such things as The Rugby World Cup, the Paralympics, films and music.