Have a lovely summer break

I hope there have been more opportunities for you to come together this past few weeks. It really is wonderful to see people together. We under-estimate, at our peril, the need to be part of something bigger, to be part of a community of like-minded souls working with a common purpose and to a common end. We are a collective. We are a community

Thank you for all the hard work, commitment, support and dedication this year to the schools.  For those of us who’ve been at this game for a number of years we realize that it never gets any easier but it is important for me to recognise that the impact of all that we have had to manage professionally and, for some of us in our personal lives, has been dramatic and in some cases traumatic. I acknowledge that all of the changes over the past couple years could have been destabilising but they haven’t and that is because the staff have all worked so positively and have remained so professional.

We have faced our collective challenges head on and we can be comfortable in the knowledge that we have faced all of these challenges as we should and always do; that is with dignity, integrity and professionalism. With all that we’ve been doing, this end of the summer term is terrifically well earned and much needed for all.  

Again, we know that we will pick up the pace yet again in August and into September. That will bring some excitement and, no doubt, further significant pressures – but that is the way of education these days. 

We know that the issuing of the results in the summer will be a strange and, hopefully, not too traumatic an experience. On exams and results it has been disappointing to see some of the nonsense in the media about veracity and standards. A different year but the same tune. I did catch through this though a sight of some of the evidence put forward by some of our colleagues in other schools.

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Johann Bach wrote a great many musical compositions and had a large number of children. In between he practiced on an old spinster which he kept up in his attic. Bach died from 1750 to the present. Bach was the most famous composer in the world and so was Handel. Handel was half German half Italian and half English. He was very large.


Solomon had three hundred wives and seven hundred porcupines.

As you reflect on the past year or so over the summer, I do very much hope those reflections are comfortable and bring a calmness and satisfaction.  We can be sure that our collective will to succeed has been terrifically strong. Come the end of August, we will return strong and we will work together to become even stronger still.

Whatever we do, whatever we aspire to, the overwhelming majority of staff at our schools and at the college do understand that we are about changing the lives of our young people; it is about creating opportunities, it is about challenging ourselves and our staff bodies to do better, go further and demand more. It may be uncomfortable at times but if we don’t do it to ourselves, if we don’t understand where we are at and how we can improve, we know full well that others will do it to us. You should be very proud of all that we have achieved together.

I wish you an enjoyable, relaxing and fulfilling summer break.