The new headteacher of The Deepings School has pledged to make it “a consistently good school for teaching and learning”.
Richard Lord, of Uffington, is in his fourth week as leader of the comprehensive school and sixth form after taking over from Richard Trow on September 1.
Mr Lord was previously principal of Ken Stimpson Community School, Peterborough, and has joined The Deepings School after a summer when almost 75 per cent of A-level students achieved grades of A* to C and the first GCSE students came through the school’s science centre.
Mr Lord said: “It’s been really exciting and re-energizing for me to be in a new position and I’ve had a really warm welcome from teachers, students, parents and governors.
“There’s always a sense of trepidation when a new head comes in because people don’t like change very often. But there’s been a really good buzz around the place and what I do get from the staff is a massive sense of willingness to develop and be the best teachers they can be.”
Mr Lord is only the seventh head teacher in the school’s 58-year history but he has already introduced new ideas, including a weekly newsletter for parents, daily staff meetings and plans for a new alumni network2 for past students of The Deepings School.
“Schools are like living organisms, with their own language and culture,” Mr Lord said.
“I was appointed to be head of The Deepings School in May so the summertime was really busy in terms of getting to know this place, doing the handover at my old school and ensuring that the two staff training days at the start of September went well.
“Since then, I’ve spoken to every year group in assemblies and told them that I want this to be an exciting place to teach and an exciting place to learn.”
The Deepings School was rated as ‘Outstanding’ by Ofsted in both 2009 and 2013 under previous head teacher Chris Beckett.
But Mr Lord said that developing his students to be “good citizens with good outcomes” was as important as improving exam results.
“The accountability regime, according to Ofsted, prioritises standard outcomes and I understand that,” Mr Lord said. “At some point, my job depends on exam results and you come into a job like this knowing that.
“On the other hand, we’re trying to develop well-rounded students ready to go on to be good citizens, with good outcomes and having made really good progress from when they joined us in Year 7, right through to Year 13.
“The Deepings School has all the ingredients to be a hotbed of teaching and learning in the CfBT Education Development Trust and the challenge over the next two years is for the school to be consistently good in all it does.”