A letter from Mr David Littlemore on his appointment as Headteacher
I am delighted to have been appointed the permanent Headteacher of Prospect School. Many of you will already know me and the already long list of improvements and developments that have been put in place since my appointment as interim Headteacher last year. However, I am now absolutely delighted that the Governing Body have confirmed me as the permanent Headteacher of the school, bringing with it the long needed stability and security that this school has long needed. It is therefore with vigour and enthusiasm that I will approach the task (not without it’s challenges) of ensuring that Prospect School is without question, the number one school of choice for our local community.
I am very clear in my belief that Prospect is a school that needs to serve it’s local community, and that this is our core value and key priority. In the time that I have got to know you all, I have been impressed by the resilience, the loyalty and the determination that is demonstrated on a daily basis by our key stakeholders – our students, our parents and carers, our local neighbours and the partners that we work with to ensure the very best for our young people.
My first priority is to deliver a curriculum that meets the needs of our students. Whilst I applaud the laudable belief that underpins a rigorous academic curriculum, as advocated by the EBacc suite of qualifications, I am also determined that we deliver a curriculum that will enable our particular cohort of young people to flourish. Therefore, alongside a traditional, rigorous and academically challenging curriculum, which will stretch and challenge our academic students, we also offer a dynamic and forward thinking vocational curriculum equipping our young people for the challenges of the mid twenty-first century. It is certainly a truism that we are educating young people for jobs that have not yet been invented, but if we give them the sound academic grounding, alongside a range of transferable skills, I believe that they will leave us well-equipped.
Secondly, I will tackle what I know frustrates many parents, and indeed students. I am very clear that students need to develop the character and culture that is needed to flourish as young adults. Therefore, ensuring that every student is able to learn effectively in the classroom, free from the distractions of others is something that I will insist upon. For those students who cannot get it right, I will ensure that we provide the support, education and guidance that they need in order to get it right; I return to the notion that we are a community and we must nurture every member of it. I defend my stance on inclusive education, and I believe that Prospect is very well placed to do so, but I also have a final line, and for students who have demonstrated that despite intervention and support, they are not able to work effectively, I will make the reluctant decision, for the good of the greater majority, to seek alternative education for them elsewhere.
Our young people face many challenges as young adults today. There is no silver bullet, but I will work hard with all the resources that I have available to ensure that they are cared for both educationally and emotionally. We have an exceptional team of talented pastoral leaders at Prospect, and this is an area where I will continue to invest time and money. We will continue to work closely with a range of outside agencies, as well as continuing to develop our House system, which provides not only healthy competition, but also security, and a space and a time for our students to be heard.
Thirdly, I will ensure that your children are taught the very best lessons. It is my mantra that ‘every lesson counts’, and we will spend every minute that your children are with us teaching them the best quality lessons. Staff recruitment is a challenge; it would be foolish to ignore this, but I believe that we have a school with the potential to attract the very best teachers. Nevertheless, I will continue to work hard to retain our teachers, through the provision of quality training and learning, so that they can also become the best (indeed, many of them already are!) I am sure you will agree that staff who have their well-being taken into account will be happier, more motivated and better teaching your children. Further to this, I would like to reiterate that we are very much a school at the heart of our community, and wherever possible, we will seek to provide appropriate employment opportunities to those in our community first; a mutually beneficial approach.
We are already fortunate that Prospect is well resourced; I have worked hard in the last year to ensure that our young people have a welcoming, safe and well-equipped environment in which to work. I will continue to fight for every penny that I can get to continue to fund the quality education for our community, and will also, wherever possible, make our facilities available to our wider community.
I am extremely privileged to be in this position. I was fortunate to have the opportunity to go to university, and was able to make choices about my life. I am certain that becoming a headteacher was the right one; as I reflect back, what I want for every single student at Prospect is to have the same life chances and opportunities that I did, so that all our young people will be able to lead bountiful and purposeful lives, giving back to their community in the future.
Finally, I am a listening Headteacher. In outlining my priorities, I hope this gives you an idea of how we will, as a community, make Prospect the very best and first choice of the area; to do this fully, I need to hear your views also, so I would be very happy to discuss my vision and values for Prospect further in the very near future.
Mr David Littlemore