17.03.2023 - Letter from the Headteacher
March 17th 2023
17 March 2023
Parent(s) / Carer(s) of Falmouth School
Dear Parent(s) / Carer(s)
As you are aware, Falmouth School underwent an Ofsted inspection on 7 & 8 February 2023 and I am pleased to share with you the Ofsted outcomes.
I was appointed as Falmouth School’s Headteacher from 1 January 2023, and at the point of the Ofsted inspection I had served 25 school days in this role. You may ask if there is a good time for an Ofsted inspection and for Falmouth School, yes, this was a good time.
Throughout January I communicated with you regularly and I held ‘The Evening with Lenka Chanter’ on 25 January so that you could meet me and get to know me. Whilst I am fully aware of the direction Falmouth School needs to take, the Ofsted inspection outcome refines the direction further and confirms the level of improvements still required.
I am absolutely delighted to share with you that Falmouth School has now officially moved out of the ‘Inadequate’ category. The staff, students and you, as the members of the community - we all needed this to happen. We achieved this thanks to the directions we have embraced. I unreservedly thank everyone who has been part of this journey so far. Your contribution is recognised and greatly appreciated. The official report will be available on Ofsted's website on 23 March and the report is also being shared with you today as an attachment to this letter.
The report highlights the positive journey that the Falmouth Family have embarked upon and highlights areas of strengths.
“The new headteacher is resolute in her determination to bring about improvement. She is fully aware of parental concerns regarding poor communication. Parents have welcomed a recent meeting and more regular communication from the headteacher. Leaders have set about implementing strategies for much needed improvement”.
“Leaders fulfil their statutory safeguarding responsibilities well. Policies and recruitment checks are carried out diligently”.
“The improvements in the curriculum mean that pupils currently in the school are learning better than those who have left, but there remains much more to do”.
More importantly, the report outlines specific areas for improvement which to be entirely honest, are no surprise. As a consequence of the report, we have commenced our steps to navigate the improvement journey in the recently identified directions.
From the report our focus will be to ensure:
- what pupils need to know is explicitly identified and a carefully considered sequence of learning established;
- that assessment is used to understand how well pupils remember the curriculum and to ensure future learning is meaningful;
- staff tailor learning to meet pupils’ needs and engage them fully;
- that leaders at all levels monitor and evaluate their areas of responsibility with rigour. They should then adapt their approach in light of their findings to ensure rapid improvement.
Apart from the above aspects, my focus continues to centre on behaviour and attitudes of students. The feedback from all stakeholders reflects this, as does the report.
“Most pupils say they feel safe in school. A large proportion of parents believe some pupils do not behave well enough; inspectors agree”.
“There has been some initial impact in improving behaviour. However most initiatives are in their infancy and are yet to make a discernible difference.”
You need to know that I am fully committed to Falmouth School, to the Falmouth Family which we strive to nurture, and to the local community in spite of various challenges that may lay ahead. Being a headteacher is not a small task; it is a life calling and it often is a complete life commitment. I know it because ‘I breathe the school’ every day and every evening, often well into the night when I plan, evaluate and consider the daily operations and strategic plans to support the school, its students and staff.
I am determined for Falmouth School to become a Good school and then an Outstanding school, not for my personal glory and definitely not for my own reputation. Falmouth School has the right to sustain the status of an Outstanding school because that is the only outcome that is right for the children and young people who encapsulate the Falmouth Family. Therefore, I need to aim at the highest standards and only foster the highest expectations for all our students and staff because there are no glass ceilings and we need to aim high for everyone.
I will say to you that our improvement journey is not a quest, it is not an impossible task, but it is challenging and it is complex as we are at the stage where we are re-developing all elements of the school. To be successful, we can only do this gradually and prioritise the key areas.
I am asking you to support me on this journey. We know our mission, we know that there may be bumps along the way and that may be we might need to take a small diversion on route to reaching the finish line. There will be no shortcuts. I will make some mistakes along the way, as will many of us, because we are humans and we are all learning. But the moral purpose and the importance of that purpose remains unchanged and we cannot divert from the course we need to take.
I thank all my staff who have so far embarked on this ambitious journey with me and I also thank them in advance for all the future commitment and positive resilience they will collectively and individually continue sharing with me so that our Falmouth Family can flourish and grow. I thank all our students for striving together to create this extraordinary environment. I thank you as parents and carers for your honesty, patience, understanding and support. I am asking you to help me, and support me, on this exciting journey so that together we are a true Falmouth Family which is extraordinary and mighty in every sense of the word. Yours sincerely
Mrs Lenka Chanter
Posted at 13:41 on 30th Mar 2023 Back