I have been enjoying the new series of The Apprentice on BBC1, which has at its core the need to be proficient with communication, language and literacy. If you cannot communicate effectively, for a range of purposes and audiences, you quite simply fail. Above is a picture of Margaret Mountford, one of the senior advisors, who is dismayed at her team’s lack of ability to articulate a simple sales pitch.

Margaret portrays exactly how I feel after a week of fighting a very fierce battle with the school website and trying to set it up to allow children to submit content in a safe and controlled manner. I’m all for freedom of speech and creativity, but eSafety is a huge issue which cannot be ignored.

Joomla (the content management system) runs by a set of rules and procedures. Typically what I wanted to do wasn’t allowed or possible according to these rules. So I decided to purchase an extension which, in theory, would allow the creation of different rules for teachers and pupils. So the plug-in was installed and it conflicted with a range of other plug-ins that were already on the system. Therefore over the past week I have been doing the Mountford hand on head, slumped on the desk expression on an increasingly daily basis. After many (and I really mean many) hours of experimentation and changing settings there is only one problem remaining (which requires recoding by the company I bought the extension off). The systems are now in place for the children to add their own content, blog posts and soon images. It has taken some doing but it is there – a completely personalised system for the school, which would have cost about £6000.

 I breathe a sign of relief and move onto the next battle… end of Key Stage Assessments.

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