WEEK 13 - Friday 8 December 2023
Yesterday afternoon, I was invited by Emma Hardy MP to join a group of other school leaders in a meeting with Catherine McKinnell MP, Labour’s Shadow Minister for Schools. She has only been in post for a month and is on a rapid fact-finding mission to discover what life is like in schools and what an incoming Labour Government can do to improve things. It was pleasing to see that their priority is changing the relationship between Government and schools so that it is much more like a partnership and less adversarial than it has been for most of the last 13 years. There are some funded changes to include breakfast clubs, networks for support staff and a commitment to review Ofsted which will almost certainly end single word judgements. Beyond that, not much. Which will certainly come as a relief to most of the profession.
It was a useful meeting and we all got plenty of time to speak to her. I emphasised one point in particular; that schools are being asked to do work that falls significantly outside of our remit, job descriptions and training and we do it because we want to support our most disadvantaged children and families. For that reason, the best thing a new Government can do is to stop making so many people disadvantaged in the first place! And then she headed off to Parliament for a debate on Rwanda, such is the varied life of an MP.
I often use this blog to share with you some of the successes of our students and this week we were thrilled when a group of our students were successful in a Bowling competition. It was Thursday when twelve of our students in Year 9 and Year 10 attended the Bowling Panathlon Event at Hollywood Bowl. The students competed alongside 14 other teams and were commended for their behaviour, attitude and skill. Jack Escreet top scored with 135 (the highest number of points within the competition), and Callum Wright came second with 107.
Our Year 10 Team came 4th overall within the competition and our Year 9 Team placed 1st progressing to represent Hessle High in the Panathlon Finals in January! Well done to them all and thank you to the staff for organising and accompanying the trip.
We have a very talented staff here at Hessle and many of them possess talents outside of the classroom. Garry Burnett is not only an English teacher but also a published writer and playwright. In recent years, he has collaborated several times with local musicians who shared their early careers with Mick Ronson and David Bowie. His play ‘Turn and Face the Strange’ has been performed many times locally and is starting to pick up some national attention. It tells the story of Ronson and features a live band playing many of Bowie’s hits as the story unfolds. I have seen it before and it is a great show. The show is back on again this weekend, this time at Hull New Theatre, and I shall be there tomorrow afternoon to watch it. Garry is also on stage as the narrator of the story. We all wish him well, as well as the rest of the cast/band and I am definitely looking forward to it.
Whatever you are doing this weekend, have a nice relaxing one and thank you as always for your support.