Friday 24th February 2017
We welcomed the Rt Hon Nicky Morgan MP to school on the Friday prior to the half term. She was carrying out research for a book that she is writing on ‘character education’. The last three days in school have really reminded me of the importance of this in our offer at Gordano. In those days we welcomed back pupils from study visits in Russia and the USA; we’ve been hearing about the enjoyment that other pupils had on the Ski Trip; we are in the final rehearsal stages for our whole school musical and next Saturday will see nearly 200 of our pupils out on the Mendips with the Duke of Edinburgh Award. We work really hard to provide the experiences and opportunities that our pupils need to be fully challenged and stretched in their education. I hope that you will do everything that you can to encourage your son or daughter to get the very most out of their time here.
School funding has been in the news recently and you may be wondering whether Gordano is affected by these pressures. I am afraid that the answer is yes. We have had seven years of what the government call ‘flat cash’ ie frozen funding. Yet the costs of running a school rise every month. All this means that we have been reducing our spend year by year. The good news is that as a large school working in the context of a Multi-Academy Trust, we are not in quite so desperate a situation as some other schools. Most efficiencies have been delivered so far without affecting pupil experience too much but further financial pressure would cause us to have to reduce the range of what we do. I’ll be writing to Dr Fox to express my concerns to him in coming days.
With the half term behind us we have tipped properly into the season of exam preparation. If you have sons or daughters in Year 11 or Sixth Form, you should now be seeing lots of evidence of revision and committed work ethic. We have lots of support for pupils and their families, much of which you may already have accessed, but do let us know of any help that you need or concerns that you have. I’ve been talking to pupils in Assemblies this week about resilience and hard work and the next few months will provide many opportunities for our Year 11 and Sixth Form to showcase those qualities.