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Letter from our new Executive Headteacher

8th September 2023

Dear Parents, Carers and Members of the School Community,

I am writing this letter as a small introduction to myself as the new Executive Headteacher of Newby and Scalby Primary School, a position I am delighted, excited and enthused to be starting. 

I appreciate that the school has been through a period of relative uncertainty, with a temporary leadership team in place for the last 18 months, who have faced several challenges including juggling school finances and resourcing as well as an Ofsted inspection. Throughout this time their focus, as well as the rest of the staff team, has remained on making the school the best it can be for the pupils and as such I would formally like to thank them for their endeavours.

I hope that my appointment will enable the school, community and Trust to draw a line in the sand and to start moving the school forward so that it can fulfil the potential it undoubtedly has. Although my role is as an Executive Headteacher with oversight across Newby and Scalby, as well as Friarage, I would like to reassure you that my focus will be on this school, something that is clear to me, the Governors and the Trust. I hope that my appointment will enable the school to thrive as part of the Coast and Vale Learning Trust, to be a lead school within it and be the very best school in the local area.

I have a 25+ year successful proven track record and career in education; the last 15 years as a Headteacher of a range of schools in Kent.  During this time, I have also been a Local Authority Advisor and more recently an Ofsted Inspector. I am confident that I will be able to bring these experiences and knowledge to support the school to make the changes that are needed.

With any new appointment there will undoubtedly be some trepidation and a degree of anxiety amongst the whole school community about the new leadership; what they will bring and what changes they will make. Change will undoubtedly happen, I would be disingenuous if I said it would not, and some changes will need to be made faster than others. I would like to reassure you that any changes that are made will be in a measured, considered and informed fashion, involving members of the community where possible and communicated to you all in an open and transparent fashion.

As an educator I believe it is my role to ensure that every child has the best possible opportunities to succeed. I believe it is incumbent on me to ensure that we open children’s eyes and hearts to the world and to the very exciting opportunities that are available to every child. I believe as such in providing learning experiences that are as broad as possible- rest assured this is not just a soundbite - to ensure that every child can succeed.

As such, I believe our role is to aim to ensure academic success – Maths, English, Science etc; but to also make sure that this is not the sole indicator of success and to nurture and develop children’s attributes socially, morally, spiritually etc and to celebrate the skills and success of every pupil whether they are a writer; mathematician, scientist, actor, artist, sportsperson, debater, or friend maker. My vision for education is to ensure that every child can shine, because we inspire them to dream and enable them to achieve.

As a parent of two young girls (6 and 8), I am acutely aware of the importance of a good start in life; for me this means giving my two girls the very best I can so that they too can dream, and they too can start to explore the amazing world we live in in a confident and capable fashion. I want them to be able to believe that anything is possible and to understand life in its broadest sense, not just something limited to traditional academia.

Broadening our horizons has meant moving from the ‘Garden of England’ (Kent) to ‘God’s Own Country’ (Yorkshire) and sees my family and I moving to East Yorkshire to join the ‘outlaws’. It has meant a huge change for us and our family, but one that embodies the life changing chances we want to provide for our children.  My two girls, my wife and our beloved Black Labrador retriever –Huggybear (don’t ask!) come with me to start this new adventure.

Key to the start of any new adventure is the building of effective relationships. This building of relationships will start from Day 1, if not before, and I hope will continue throughout my tenure as Headteacher. These relationships recognise that children are the number one determining factor in any decisions that are made and that parents are key partners in children’s education and provide valuable and useful insight to understanding how effective school is.

I am starting this next chapter with a blank page and before I start writing the next chapter, I need some assistance. This is a unique time in the history of any school, a chance to reflect, take stock and enable all partners to contribute thoughts and feelings about the future direction of the school.

I want to create a vision of what this school is; what it believes is of the highest importance and what will drive and inform every decision going forward. I believe building this identity, unique vision and set of values will be key to making this school successful. However, I will need your help.

Over the next few weeks and months, I aim to provide several opportunities for parents/carers/members of the school community to come together and share their thoughts, so that I can truly build an accurate picture of what life is like and what YOU feel is key. Look out for these opportunities as it is a chance to be frank, honest and constructive about what is important for your children, and the school, moving forward.

In the near future please look out for opportunities to meet:

Parent Tea and Coffee -Tuesday 3rd October 2023 9:15am and 3:30pm

Parent Chat via Teams – Tuesday 10th October 7:30pm – link will be sent out nearer the time.

The meetings will give me a chance to expand on my vision for education and most importantly to hear from you about what you feel are the strengths of the school and what you would like to change. The three meetings above will all be of the same nature, but I wanted to give parents the flexibility to speak either in the morning, after school or at your own leisure at home. If you are unable to attend one of these but you would like to share your thoughts, please contact me at the address below.

Luckily, for you, you won’t have to wait for an opportunity to meet me in the short term, as I aim to be around every morning and afternoon, where possible; feel free to come and say hello.

Best Wishes

Steve Owen

Executive Headteacher

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Coast and Vale Learning Trust

About Coast and Vale Learning Trust

The Coast and Vale Learning Trust in Scarborough aims to improve education in the locality through establishing coherent and collaborative practice across schools and other educational institutions in the area.

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