2nd March 2018

By 2nd March 2018 September 12th, 2019 Headteacher's Blog

The first half of the spring half term can be brutal, this year subzero temperatures,  students and staff have had their share of flu, and if that was not enough, a school closure have all proved challenging. I find myself counting the minutes until Spring. Thank you to all parents for their support and encouragement on the 1st and 2nd March.  I am particularly grateful to the site team for the work undertaken to keep the site clear on Thursday 1st March. The decision to close on Friday 2nd March was not taken lightly. I knew that somewhere along the line I would upset someone. It is very easy for youngsters and some parents to say, “shut the school”, but I am aware of the issues that this creates for families, particularly those with young children. Equally, our weather is never certain and a decision made 24 hours in advance of a forecast, could prove to be the wrong one. I also have to consider the management of news and information. It is never helpful for this to be disseminated in a piecemeal fashion. Having said all this, I think we got it about right. Thankfully extreme (for the UK) weather events like this occur rarely.

 

 

 

The school production was one of the casualties of the weather. I am very pleased that we are able to continue the school production of Beauty and the Beast. The first night , Wednesday 28th was a resounding success with a standing ovation. For the cast this has been a difficult time however I am sure that the momentum will return next week. The show must go on!

This term we have also experienced a number of staffing issues. I am always delighted when colleagues tell me that they are having a baby. In addition, a number of other colleagues have secured promotion towards the end of the recruitment cycle, this means that we have to find temporary staff. Nationally the recruitment of both temporary and permanent staff into the secondary sector is at crisis point. The government’s own statics confirm that recruitment for secondary school teachers missed its target by some measure. In fact, last year, only 80% of the required number of secondary trainees were recruited, the worst performance since comparable records began seven years ago. In almost every single secondary school subject, targets were missed apart from PE, and History. In some subjects the training targets were missed by over 30%. We are doing all that is reasonable to fill the current vacancies.

 

 

Our lenten journey continues in school. The midpoint is now on the horizon with Laetare Sunday on the 11th March. This week during registration, students reflected on the time Jesus spent in the desert. To help students focus they watched this short video.

Many of you will be aware of the death of Canon Terence ‘Tim’ Healy earlier last month. He was parish priest in Horndean where he celebrated his Golden Jubilee in 2012. He retired from there a few years ago. Whilst at Horndean he regularly visited the school to celebrate Mass with students and staff. I represented the school at his Requiem Mass on the 2nd March.

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