Headteacher’s News – 2018 05 18

Thank you to all the parents,  boys and staff who are supporting the school fund raising over the weekend.  The car-parking on our site and Stovell field could raise the biggest single amount ever raised in one event by our PTA and Friends.  I know that many volunteers are getting up really early tomorrow morning to ensure the parking is done well and safely, and I am really appreciative of this great contribution of time and effort.  My thanks to the key members of the PTA who are coordinating this – Amanda Gibbon and Clare & Nick Warren.  Please look out for the Big Band who will be stationed on the long walk to entertain the crowds and the royal couple.  Already the musicians have appeared on Sky News, BBC breakfast and Radio Berkshire.  I sincerely hope the day goes well and everyone who turns up to watch enjoys the show.  Certainly all the build-up suggests it’s going to be a really wonderful event for Windsor.

Our capacity to raise additional funds and secure support from parents is all the more important in the face of the huge imbalance between per-pupil DfE funding and the rising costs of running a school.  All schools are in the same position nationally and it is rapidly coming to a crisis.  Parliament has announced an all-party inquiry into school funding to shed some light onto who’s responsible for this mess and what can be done.  Our school is not as badly off as many, but we do have a need for everyone to think creatively about generating income, securing grants and chasing sponsorship, or alternately,  in the near future, being faced with the awful choice of having to cut several things we consider intrinsic to our school.  Its not a choice any head wants to make.  I will be communicating with parents directly this coming week to explain the situation in more detail and suggesting all the ways our community can help.

I have been really impressed with the way the students have started their exams and their attitude to their revision and their conduct in the exams.  They have been brilliant.  The young men need to be praised for their approach and their mature attitude.  If they keep it up they will be on course for some really good results.  I need to thank the examinations team, headed by Kim Lewis, our examinations officer, who have been seriously well-organised and very impressive.  I also need to thank all those staff who have run extra revision sessions and those subjects who have helped the boys go the extra mile.  There has been a tremendous team effort from all quarters in making the start of the exams go so well.

I also want to thank the boat club for having the most amazing start to the summer rowing season.  They have had a tremendous opening weekend to the season and all the boys should feel so proud of their participation and success.  I am particularly impressed by the way the boat club, under Mark Wilkinson’s direction is able to increase participation for even more students, whilst maintaining the high success of boys of all ages at a serious and often national level.  You cannot underestimate the time, effort and skill that it takes to manage all this, and we all need to acknowledge a great vote of thanks to Mr Wilkinson and his team for all they do for the young oarsmen.  I know that more is to come, especially with the national schools taking place next week. Well done all.

Enjoy the weekend.  Enjoy the royal wedding. Quite an historic event for Windsor.

Gavin Henderson