And so...9 weeks until all examinations are finished for 2017. This week has been a hive of activity as we motor on with final preparations for yrs 11, 12 and 13. Unfortunately, I have failed in my mission this year to get all the coursework completed before the school’s own deadline. This is due to many reasons, mostly unforeseen, but it very frustrating for students that they are left with a myriad of completion tasks. A plan was set in motion by SLT on Monday, to allow students the maximum time available and make best use of this time. However, steps are being taken to ensure coursework timing and monitoring is much tighter in future years.

This time of year is one of strategic planning for me, as I plan for next academic year, build the timetable and budget and look at re-writing the School Improvement Plan and Self Evaluation. The budget is proving to be extremely tricky. As schools are receiving less and less funding each year and by the very definition of improvement, I wish to make changes to both the fabric of the building and curriculum, in order that our students get an even better experience, all of these things come at a cost. The Funding review promised a fairer deal for schools, especially small ones like ours, but that has not happened. I am wrestling with every single expenditure line, making cuts to anything that is not making a difference to our school. However, over the next few weeks I have a series of meetings to firm up plans and I will make sure we start 2017-18 on a firm footing.

My mobile phone regime has taken a new twist this week, as I implemented a new protocol. At the beginning of each lesson, students must hand in their phones and then reclaim them at the end. Some parents were concerned that this would have an impact on lesson time; however I have to report that the students and staff have been fantastically supportive and there has been a very swift adoption of this new procedure. Maybe the message is finally getting across!