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Monday 15th November 2010

Posted: 18th November 2010 | Category: Headmaster's Blog

Half Term seems a distant memory and November is beginning to don a wintry mantle.  A quick five day holiday in Spain was followed by frenetic activity: moving offices!  All the hard work was worthwhile as the Office is now at the hub of the school and this will improve our service to parents, pupils and teaching staff.  I am also very happy with my new quarters!

A week last Friday at seven o’clock I set off for London and braved the M25 en route to visit our new owner, Mark Malley, in his school in Muswell Hill.  Two and a half hours later – having learned about the history of The Wash on Radio 4 – I arrived in London N10.  I had forgotten the nightmare of parking in the capital and eventually squeezed into a space right outside Norfolk House School.  This is an imposing Edwardian edifice with four storeys.

I spent the day with Mark and visited all the classes.  I was impressed with the enterprising way he had utilised every millimetre of space in the school.  I also admired the workmanship of his builders, Gary and Alan, whom I also met.  IT is a priority in his school and this was in evidence everywhere.

We spent a long time discussing our future plans for Skippers and he promised to bring his builders along to us so that these plans could begin to come to fruition.

True to form Mark appeared last Friday with builders Gary, Alan and Eddie in tow.  They visited every nook and cranny of the school and are now well briefed!

Other plans, such as moving the Senior classes into the refurbished dorms and creating a new facility for the Early Years are still in the planning stages – more of that later! Exciting times!  Mark will be writing to you shortly with other items of news.

Changing tack: my annual round of Secondary School visits continues!

I trundled over to Hurstpierpoint to see my good friend Tim Manley.  It was great to hear that last year’s leavers are thriving there.  Charlie Scates, Dom Mack and Ollie MacKenzie have settled in well and are enjoying the sport.  I ran into Dom and Ollie on my way to the car and they were both on form and in rude health!  Charlie I saw at the Year 6 Concert and he seems to be blossoming too!

My next ports of call this week will be to meet up with the eminent Richard Cairns at Brighton College and the talented Dr Richard Maloney at St Bede’s.  It is a vital part of my job to keep my finger on the pulse of these fine establishments and to keep abreast of developments at each of them.  It is also great to catch up on former students and to check that they are all on a successful track!

Last week we held a Management Meeting – this was Mark’s first and Maxine’s last!  John Whitmore was in the chair and Angela Alsop and I attended together with Fiona as the note taker and Jane Orman who gave a report on FOSHA.  John was effusive in his praise for all that Maxine had achieved since Sydney’s demise and reiterated the similar sentiments I expressed at the start of the meeting.

We shall be continuing to have termly SMT meetings and John Whitmore has kindly agreed to carry on his role as Chairman.  It is good to have his objectivity and his experience as the Chairman of Governors at Oundle School holds him in good stead!

Angela and I have been revisiting the Equal Opportunities Policy after recent changes in legislation.  What a bureaucratic nightmare!  After an hour’s labour and an immense battle with mindless verbiage, my brain and typing fingers became disconnected (remember “blig” for “blog”?); I signed the update with: “Reviewed by the Headhamster” which just about says it all!

I’m off to Assembly to touch base with reality!

As ever,


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