Speaking truth to power
One of the issues associated with having a school environment that has been built in one time period, and then extended over different time periods, is ensuring maintenance can keep on top of changing demands and the facilities remain in a condition that is fit for purpose. Some of the buildings at West Hill School, have been subject to weathering over time and are not wind and watertight. This has an impact on the quality of experiences for our boys and staff, as well as the fact that constant repairs divert resources in an inefficient way.
We submitted a bid to the DfE Condition Improvement Fund in December, to address defects in relation to roofs, windows and doors, wishing to improve the external and internal fabric of school buildings. We received notification last week that we had been successful in our bid, and were awarded the funds requested to allow the £750 000 project to commence. This is a significant investment in supporting our vision of improving the facilities for all our boys and staff. More details of this will be shared in the autumn term, but we have ambitious plans to enhance and further develop West Hill School, as we look ahead to the next 100 years in our history.
One area that will be ready for the start of the new academic year will be a brand new all-weather 3g MUGA (Multi-Use Games Area), to be sited where our “tennis courts” are. Not only will this enhance PE lesson times and extra curricula opportunities for the boys, it will also add to the opportunities our community partners can access.
Our MP Jonathan Reynolds visited yesterday, to attend a session with our school council. He spoke about a range of topics, answering questions put to him by the boys, with an inevitable strong focus on Covid and its impact. The standard of questioning from the boys was high, illustrating an insight into world affairs and in many respects demonstrating they really are fully engaged citizens. Jonathan was most complimentary about the boys and following the session with the school council he stayed behind and spent time with us discussing wider educational issues.
He took away our reflections on how the school has had to address challenges, in particular regarding Covid this last 18 months.. We made him aware of the impact on our boys, staff and families, but also how there are still matters that need addressing to alleviate problems ahead of the return to school in September. He also recognized the place West Hill has in the community, especially its long history and traditions. He appreciated the concerns surrounding the current government’s wish that all schools become part of large MATs (Multi Academy Trusts). He committed to supporting West Hill School, if our status was ever threatened by such a move, which went against the wishes of our West Hill family.
Posted by Mr Owens on 9 July 2021
Category: Headteacher's Log Book