11th October 2013
I was delighted to welcome Chief Constable Nick Gargan and Police and Crime Commissioner Sue Mountstevens to visit the school last Thursday. They were following up on the very successful serious incident simulation, Operation Judgement Day, that was held at the school last July. They were also interested to find out about the work of PCSO Dawn Tremlett whose post is jointly funded by the police force and the school. I was very proud of Oliver Gurney, Jack Hill and Harry Wagg in Year 8 who met our guests and answered their questions.
We are already at the point in the year when many Sixth Formers are applying to universities and receiving offers, other Sixth From students are thinking about job applications and Year 11 are getting ready to apply for Sixth Form, College or training posts. It was, therefore, excellent to see that the Careers Convention was as busy as ever this month. We had more than 400 visitors to the event and had an excellent range of exhibitors including employers, apprenticeship providers, colleges and universities. The strong relationship with our friends in the Business Partnership is helping us to provide the best opportunities to our students.
We have had had some tremendous individual achievements on the sporting front in recent days. I must congratulate Lizzie Warnes who has once again qualified for the British Schools Biathlon Finals. Fellow Sixth Former Ruby Harrold’s achievements at the World Gymnastics Championship are celebrated elsewhere in the newsletter and all across the national media. It is fantastic to have a gymnast of Ruby’s calibre in the school and we join with colleagues and students from her old school, Churchill Academy, in congratulating her on her 7th place in the world on ‘uneven bars’. What a success!
Lastly, I need to turn to the school’s part-closure on Thursday due to the NUT and NASUWT strike. Almost half of our teachers will be on strike on Thursday so it is impossible for me to open as normal. I am neither allowed to direct non-striking staff to cover for absent colleagues, nor bring in supply staff to do that work, as that would constitute ‘breaking a strike’. I regret the disruption caused to families but I trust that you will appreciate that these are circumstances beyond my control. The disagreement is between the Unions and the Secretary of State and the action is not directed at me, our governors or our parents.