Parent Demands Immediate Action from Ministry of Education to Restore Order at All-Saints Secondary School



The opinions expressed in this letter are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of (ANR). ANR is not responsible for the accuracy of the content. Readers should verify information independently and seek professional advice where necessary.

Dear Editor,

I am a parent with two children currently attending the All-Saints Secondary School one of which is in the upper school and the other in lower school.  I have two other children who have graduated from that once noble institution.  The All-Saints Secondary School is also my alma-mater

I am deeply concerned about current the state of affairs at the school.  When my two older children attended, their hair had to be neatly groomed.  My son’s hair was never plaited but always cut low. 

When I enquired as to why it is that the boys at the school were allowed to wear their hair in any way, I was told that the Director of education, Mr. Clare Brown sent out a release saying that the natural length of the boy’s hair should no longer be addressed.

This is because his sons who attend the St. Anthony’s Secondary School do not have to cut their hair. As a result, the boys of the All-Saints Secondary school attend school with some of them not even combing their hair.

When they pass me on the street in the morning, their hair is unkept, some plait, some loosed out, some boys with beads on the end some with dye in their hair.

It leaves me to wonder if there are no form teachers who check them in the morning.  My son who graduated two years again exclaimed “if Mr. Edwards was still the principal those boys would have to go to school looking very neat!”.

I even see students, boys and girls with their eyebrows sliced out.   Added to their hair being untidy, some students wear crocs, Birkenstocks and other slippers to school none of which is a part of the school’s uniform.

I stopped by for a meeting the other day and the school’s campus was in a deplorable condition.  There was rubbish strewn everywhere, and the grass was high in several areas of the school.

As soon as I stepped into the gate, I saw a pile of broken desks and chairs near the main entrance of the school. It was unsightly.  There are times when my child in the lower school complains that almost every day, they have to look for a desk and chair as the students purposely destroy the furniture. 

There were also three stray dogs on the compound. What confused me was that there were at least three groups of cleaners sitting around under trees just relaxing.

Another thing that bothers me is the lateness of both teachers and students. There are times when I would see students catching bus at 8:30 a.m.  

Many times, I see students walking up the road in droves at 8:30 almost 9:00, and they are still let into the gate.  Again, when Mr. Edwards was there, he stamped out the lateness by closing the gate shortly after the bell rang.  But now, they just walk in freely without any consequence. 

I heard recently that for safety reasons the gates cannot be closed. The teachers are also late, many getting there at 8:30 and after. My child who is in the upper school said most mornings their teachers do not show up to mark the register.

This next issue has terribly affected my two children.  My younger child does English B and my older, Theater arts. There is a teacher who seems to always be on sick leave. She teachers both of those subjects. Since first term my children have EX on their report card. Their grades have been exempted because the teacher is a no show.

My children’s form teachers can never answer as to when the grades will be added. The theater arts students have even missed one of their SBA’s.  It is my understanding that the teacher refuses to teach English B, so my child is without a teacher for that particular subject. The Spanish teacher for the lower form is absent sometimes and the library teacher’s absenteeism and lateness are are at the chronic stage.

What was most appalling was that I entered into a meeting with the principal concerning my child in the lower class, for the whole meeting, not once did he look up at me during the discussion. He kept his eyes on the computer and kept typing. I found this to be rude and impersonal and unprofessional to say the least. 

His only punishment for students seems to be suspension.  While I was waiting for the meeting I stood outside the office and I could swear it was break time. There were so many students on the corridor walking back and forth making noise and cursing bad words. Several teachers who were going to their classes just walked by as the students misbehaved and none of them even acknowledged that the children were cursing.  

I am very disappointed as to how the school is operating now.  There is a principal and two vice principals yet, there seems to be always mayhem on the compound. It makes me sad because when my two older children were there it is as if it is a totally different institution to now. 

There is no order, or respect. When I pick up my children in the afternoon many times there are students in the school busses even before the bell rings. Teachers even leave the compound while school is still in session. 

Can anything be done to save the school?  The institution is surely headed for destruction and the administration doesn’t seem to know what to do to get it back under control. 

I am calling on the Ministry of Education to intervene.  The teachers seem to have lost control because of mandates that have been handed down from the Ministry of Education. I am calling on Mrs. Mills, and Mr. Browne to better, and to demand better from the All-Saints Secondary school. I really do not want to transfer my children because I know what the school is capable of and what is has produced in my children and me


Miss. D. Simon /Sad and frustrated parent

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  1. They need a principal like Mr Edwards,the standard of the school drop,the present principal do nothing but stays in his office.

  2. When Mr.Edwards left the school was in tip top shape. Now 3 years later the institution is almost unrecognizable. Mr. Edwards must feel very sad.

  3. Wow! Ma’am move your children and stop waiting for change! These young ppl are getting sooo out of control. Where are the parents? Oh yea! Those are the ones who don’t show up for PTA meetings! Sometimes is just to pack all a dem up at Defence Force to learn discipline! Real Boot Camp style!!!

  4. With .edward when you late you go home and next day you have to come with your parents no jewelry ,no long hair ,no earrings but things really change.

  5. They say it takes a village to raise a child but with what going on in this country I rather raise my child without any outside influence. It’s not good to judge but I you were to sit those children down with the parents then you would get insight as to why they carry themselves that way.
    It starts at home but daddy and mommy chasing the world or daddy not around and mommy focused on eyelashes and fake hair. Broken homes = broken children.
    How can I forget politicians opening the flood door for smoking marijuana and not putting anything in place to protect the children. One big mess and they don’t care

  6. Dear Concerned Parent,

    Please believe that you are not the only parent who is utterly disappointed with the current management of this school. Upon expressing my displeasure to some of the teachers, I would have heard things like “if it was Mr. Edwards” , “the school mash up” , “he doesn’t really care because he doesn’t want to be here” in reference to the principal. It is sad and disheartening that an institution that has always been amongst the best over several decades is being allowed to be reduced to nothing just because of a person who “pretends” to be lazy, inept, disrespectful and a downright undeserving principal.

    I say this, because I too raised two children, though not my own, who went to that school. So when my eldest biological child inisited that this was the school of choice, I allowed it. Daily I regret that decision.

    I would also blame the Ministry of Education for dancing around this issue instead of fixing it and condemning this man to a corner with an empty desk, while allowing a competent, caring and capable individual to save this institution from intended ruins.

    Whatever is this principals issue apart from laziness? The world may never know. What we do know is that he is ruining the school’s reputation and damaging the future of dozens of impressionable young minds. Should you speak to the children about him you would be told that he enjoys sitting in his office and “gaming”. Try asking a student of the school for yourself. The situation at the school is a huge mess that needs to be cleaned by the people in the ministry of education who created it. Too many times are those “good” teachers promoted because of their credentials, or paper based abilities but when it’s time to put the theory into practice, all we get is pure mayhem.

    The same way that teachers used to get unplanned visits from ministry personnel decades ago, needs to be the same way that principals, receive unplanned visits from their superiors. This is especially so for those principals who are the cause of mas transfers out of their school. In addition, it has been rumored that several of the stalwart teachers from that school and even more students, would have transferred from that institution from the end of last school year to date.

    Save All Saints Secondary School

  7. Bout groom hair leave the children with their hair God bless them with. You talking about grooming and cutting hair. You all still stock in slavery with slavery mentally, black men hair should not be cut ever. And you don’t know if the teacher is a sick person or have other challenges. Why don’t you volunteer to assist at the school. Stop judging from the outside, some of you only know how to complain.

  8. Wow!!
    Shocked and disappointed to hear this about my Alma-matter.
    Let’s fixed this soonest Ministry of Education
    Past Student association has to pen a letter requesting information and demands accountability.
    Can’t afford to make this institution be disgraced like this.

  9. They forgot to mention the “Good People” teacher that is always away collecting bottles, the Math HoD that is never early and spends more time in the cafeteria than in the classroom, and the undermining deputy that feels that she should have gotten the school and who most likely wrote this letter pretending to be a parent.

  10. They need a principal like Mr Southwell he was an impressive and very stern principle , children who grew up having him as the principal can attest to this . B

  11. Who Lawd my alma mater.Things can’t gone so bad.Ministry of Education pls save All.Saints Secondary school.Mr.Edwards pls go back.Parents you all need to come together and demands better from the Ministry of Education and the Principal.Is everyone in Antigua losing their mind.?

  12. @Cant stand….the parent didn’t just focus on hair length. As an educator I also think that all th schools are going to the dogs. There is a complete lack of discipline at most of the public secondary schools. There are so many boys who care much more about their hair/hairstyle than what is in their brain. Also, I do not know who is standing at the gates to allow these young ladies with such short skirts to enter the school’s compounds. There is a complete lack of discipline which is very pervasive throughout the schools. Those same young people bring that same attitude into the workplace when they get there….always late, non-performance etc. the government is obliged to hire them because unemployment rates look bad and votes are needed. We need a Director of Education with backbone who will implement policies and see that administration and teachers follow through. There are always a few good students but we need to compel the others to do better. We should always hold ourselves to the highest of standards.

  13. It’s not a matter of it being All Saints students. It’s all the secondary schools, none of them are organised or properly co-ordinated.

  14. Don’t shoot the messenger. The writer has raised some very valid points. We should never be content to be mediocre. All across the island the standard of education is dropping but it’s the lax attitude of the Ministry. Children are not old enough to decide for themselves…many need firm guidelines/guidance. Most times the male students care more about their hair than a good education.

  15. Sad to say that Principal has no interest in All Saints Secondary School, many times kids are out of class during class time and I witness him passing them straight without asking why are you out of class., and so true all he knows is Suspension, more times you in his office for a meeting the parent not lying ĥis face in his Laptop…shame on you to call yourself a princi

  16. @ Justice: You sound like you are a member of staff at the school. If in fact you are, what have you done to help fix the current state of the school? Are you leaving everything solely up to the Principal and his deputies?

    It’s true that everything starts and ends with the Principal, but if you sit idly by and not do anything as a result of his inaction, you are just as culpable.

    All stakeholders have a responsibility to the school. I’m not defending the Principal, but others are to be held accountable: parents, Hon Daryll Matthew and other ministry officials, teachers and students.

    How are parents allowing their children to leave home and not be well groomed? I don’t care what the hair policy is- no child of mine will ever determine that he doesn’t want to cut his hair or keep it “groomed” according to society’s current trend. I’M THE PARENT!!!

    How are parents not cognizant of the fact that their child/children are habitually late for school? The sad reality is some parents know and do ABSOLUTELY NOTHING about it.

    How do some parents justify not collecting their child/children reports for an ENTIRE SCHOOL YEAR?!!! How do some parents justify their child/children bad behavior?

    When parents fail to instill discipline, set boundaries, rules and expectations for their child/children, the end result will be a child/children with no respect for authority and no regard for rules -this ultimately results in a chaotic school environment and society.

    Let’s not forget about the Ministry of Education. These officials sit in their offices and at times make injudicious policies. The moment these people get into the ministry, they become amnesic to their past experiences in the school setting.

    They allow parents to run to the ministry to report simple matters that should be dealt with and remain at the school level. These officials should only intervene when ABSOLUTELY necessary. They give these entitled parents too much power.

    Principals should be allowed to manage the schools as they deemed appropriate. (Sadly, some don’t. They have poor leadership skills, decisions making skills and interpersonal skills).

    Who is responsible for selecting these Principals and teachers? Problematic teachers and principals should be dealt with. Sadly, the ministry’s answer to problematic teachers is to transfer them from school to school.

    Teachers also are to be blamed. Some I’m sure would have voiced their displeasure and would have been ignored. This is turn can demotivate them and cause them to turn a blind. Others downright just don’t care.

    It’s disheartening that the school is in such a deplorable state. However, the Principal should not be the only one who should be blamed. Parents, M.O.E Officials, teachers and students are all a part of the problem.

  17. Buushy hair with neat, low cut sides looks good to me. Even if boys’ hair can be kept longer than before doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be neat. There should still be standards and rules. I don’t know anything about this school or Principal but one of the problems in Education these days is Principals and other administrators are now being chosen solely based on having certain certificates in Education e.g. they get a certificate in Educational Leadership and then it is assumed that they will do a great job. In the old days, such certificates didn’t exist. People had to work their way up and prove they deserve the position. There are many great teachers at each school who could be great Principals but can’t afford to take the courses for these certificates so it will be whoever is rich enough to take the course who gets the post. What should be done is that persons who show good potential capabilities could be promoted and then asked to complete the course within a certain timeframe. They can use their increased salaries to pay for it. This will widen the pool of people who can be selected for such roles making it easier to end up with good principals etc. Certificates are useful, but experience, interest, dedication etc. should also be considered for leadership roles.

  18. Also, a lot of the time the posts are not properly advertised even among the staff. So, only persons in the know get to apply. If more persons could apply then the HR selectors could conduct proper interviews with each candidate to get a proper understanding of their vision for the institution. A lot of teachers have really great ideas that never get heard or implemented but that could move the institution forward in the right direction. Also, the interviewers could consider having some of the teachers present as part of the interview panel. E.g. there could be a rep for each type of subject area (arts, business, science etc.). The principal should be able to demonstrate some basic understanding of what each area needs to thrive. The person selected should have the confidence of the majority of the teachers at the school. Teachers usually would already know which of their colleagues would make the best leaders.

  19. Bring back eddie i am a former student although he is in retirement the school needs him it will never br the same without him

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