10th November 2011
As I write we are approaching the last performance of Bugsy’s three night run. I am very much looking forward to seeing the show tonight and have heard brilliant reports of what an enjoyable school production it has been. Really well done to all the staff who have worked so hard to produce, direct and lead the music in the show, to parents who have supported us so faithfully and especially to our fantastic students who have given their all. I am sure that you have been left wanting more so let me point you towards our delightful Carol Service and hugely enjoyable Christmas Concert still to come next month.
We have had some changes in the Governing Body this Autumn. Steve Gazzard has stepped down as Chair of Governors after three years. I am glad to say that we shall be able to retain his skills as a member of the Governing Body. Adele Haysom has been elected as the new Chair and Julian Brookes will take on the role of Vice-Chair of Governors. It has been a pleasure to work with Steve, who is always both challenging and supportive. I know that Adele and Julian will bring these characteristics to the Chair also.
Still on the topic of Governors, we welcomed Sally Varley to the Governing Body at our October meeting. Sally is a very senior manager in the Children & Young People’s Directorate at North Somerset and has been nominated by the Director, Sheila Smith. She has great experience in school admissions and property and will be a tremendous asset to us. At the same meeting we said goodbye to Isabell Palmer who has been a great friend to the school, Mike Jones has taken her place as a Community Governor and at the end of this sequence of moves a space for a Parent Governor has opened. Nominations should be received by the Clerk, Mrs Shirley Boden, by 3pm on Friday, 18th November.
As a member of the Association of School and College Leaders I am one of the few staff in school whose union has not balloted on the possibility of strike action on 30th November. So far I have had notice from the GMB, Unison, the ATL and the NUT that they will be calling on staff to take action over pension changes and the outcome of the NASUWT ballot will be known next week. As always, the school leadership and governors will take every possible lawful step to maintain our service but I would encourage parents to put contingency plans in place for that date. I shall aim to take a decision as early as is possible to minimise disruption to families.
We have now achieved planning permission for the new Sixth Form Study Centre and I expect the contractors, Wilmott Dixon, to mobilise on site early next month. We are focussing on the practicalities of coping with a construction project right at the very front of the school campus. One unwelcome impact will be that access between the Clevedon Road and St Mary’s Road gates will be blocked. This will mean that buses and cars will not be able to access the school site at the start and end of the day. We will be making alternative provision for buses but parents picking children up by car will need to make alternative arrangements. I will be writing to parents to make some suggestions about this shortly.
Lastly, I am looking forward to our GCSE Celebration Evening on 24th November. Our former Year 11s did tremendously well in their examinations and although it must seem quite a long time ago now that they are immersed in their studies in Sixth form or elsewhere it will be great to see them pick up their certificates and receive our congratulations.