Letter from the Head - 28th April 2023
Updates on strike action, MCAS, and tonight's rugby at Kingsholm!
We've had a busy week, with several big highlights to share.
First however, I wanted to thank you for your patience with the ongoing industrial action. I understand that not all parents and carers will support teachers striking, but I do feel it's worth sharing some of the context behind these strikes.
While it is certainly true that the strike action is partially about pay (and indeed, since 2010, teacher pay has risen slower than both the public and private sector average, and well below the rate of inflation), it is also about the funding of education more widely:
Figures released yesterday by the Department for Education suggest that the government are on track to recruit below half of their own target for trainee teachers. Pay is undoubtedly a factor in this - and fewer trainees makes it even harder for schools to ensure we are fully staffed.
The pay rises offered by the Department for Education were not fully funded, meaning schools would have to find the money for them out of existing budgets. In our case, this would mean cutting spending, and fewer staff working at Holmleigh Park.
I hope that this helps explain why members of the NEU feel that they have no option but to take industrial action. I know that no teachers at Holmleigh Park take going on strike easily. People do not become teachers without a deep rooted commitment to the young people we serve, and of course, staff give up a day's pay each time they strike. Striking is not an easy decision to make.
Moving on, a big thank you to everyone who has downloaded and activated MCAS - our replacement for Edulink. Over the coming months, we will be moving more and more features across, so if you haven't already activated your account, I'd be very grateful if you could do so. You can find more information here.
Finally, it's been a very busy Friday.
Good luck to our Year 9 Netballers, who have headed off on tour today - I look forward to sharing their results, or you can follow along on Instagram.
Our Ten Tors team will also be competing this weekend in a gruelling 35 mile race across Dartmoor - carrying all of their kit, camping overnight, and being completely self-sufficient.
Last but not least - you might be aware that our Year 9 Boys Rugby Team were in action at Kingsholm Stadium this evening, in the EDF County Plate Final against Kings' Gloucester.
The boys battled hard in front of a huge crowd, and although they eventually lost 28-21 to a last minute try, I couldn't have been more proud of the spirit and determination they showed. They put absolutely everything on the line, yet put their own heartbreak aside to show exceptional sportsmanship to their opposition. They were an absolute credit to the school and as always, you'll be able to find the photos on our Instagram later
With best wishes for the bank holiday weekend,