2016-17, my fifth year as headteacher at Desborough, will, without doubt, be the most successful year to date. I’m predicting this despite the last academic year being overwhelmingly successful in just about every performance measure used by Ofsted: pupil attainment; pupil progress; attendance; quality of teaching; behaviour and attitude to learning; parental satisfaction.
I am utterly confident in this prediction because we are starting this new school year stronger, much stronger, than we were this time last year. A development plan is in place, aspirational targets have been set and the staff are as determined as I am to secure an “Outstanding” Ofsted judgement when we are next inspected. We have managed to appoint some superb staff who will strengthen the English, Maths, Biology, Chemistry, Business Studies and Music Departments. It says much about Desborough’s reputation that, with the national teacher shortages in core subjects, we have experienced no difficulties in appointing highly-qualified, talented and enthusiastic teachers.
I am particularly excited by the arrival of John Sparks who has been seconded for a year from Radley College and who has joined my leadership team as Vice-Principal. John has been a Housemaster at Radley College for over a decade, is one of their finest teachers and brings with him a great wealth of experience and skills that will complement the crucially important contributions made by Andrew Wyles and Bernadette Eaves.
Nigel Cook, Chair of Governors, has returned from his circumnavigation of the world as a winning crew member of a yacht in the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race and will challenge and support me on a weekly basis in my role as headteacher. Margaret Brown has been a wonderful replacement during Nigel’s secondment and will continue in her role as vice-chair.
As parents your role is crucial in ensuring that your son (or daughter in the sixth-form) achieves his potential and enjoys his time at Desborough. Good attendance is critical, as is a conscientious approach to study, including homework. High standards of behaviour are the norm and so is respect for all adults and fellow-pupils. School uniform is compulsory and attendance at the many extra-curricular activities on offer is encouraged. We share the same ambitions for your child and a positive home-school partnership will help ensure that he achieves them.
As ever I welcome all correspondence, positive or otherwise, from parents (my email address is firstname.lastname@example.org ) so do not hesitate to contact me if you feel that I can be of help.