THE Journal sat down with new King’s School headteacher Frank Hedley to talk about the future of the school, the challenges facing pupils and working with other headteachers.
NEW King’s School headteacher Frank Hedley knows these are difficult times for young people.
Youth unemployment nationally is at more than 20 per cent so the importance of schools arming their students with as many skills as possible has never been greater.
“The reality is that students are going to leave school and it’s going to be hard for them to get jobs,” said Mr Hedley, “but our role in schools is to get them the best possible qualifications.
“At King’s, most of the lads are going to go on to university. That in itself is a challenge and they are going to come out of university hugely in debt.
“They cannot afford to make any mistakes so the guidance we can give will be absolutely crucial.
“We will try to make sure we help the lads so they don’t make mistakes and prepare them for the right jobs without closing down their options too soon.
“They are going to be working longer so they will need more flexible skills to keep up in a rapidly changing world. They need to be resilient and resourceful while being able to remain positive and maximise their potential.”
Mr Hedley has set himself the goal of improving teaching in classrooms and stressing the importance of leadership for staff and students.
“I have come into the school with a very clear agenda,” said Mr Hedley.
“My agenda is to really focus on improving classroom practice and the development of leadership within the staff and the boys. We want to do that in collaboration with other schools.
“It takes a long time to improve classroom practice but it is something that I’m passionate about.”
Mr Hedley has already met with other secondary school teachers in the town and hopes to work alongside them in the future.
“Initially, we will be working with other secondary school headteachers,” said Mr Hedley, “but we are also interested in that transition between primary school and secondary school.
“That’s where we can really make sure students hit the ground running.”
The switch to academy status has been controversial and unpopular with some but the new headteacher believes the school will be better off in the long-term, not least due to the financial benefits attached.
King’s School is blessed with an incredible history but Mr Hedley believes there is every reason to be enthusiastic about the future.
“It is a really exciting time and the staff have been very welcoming,” said Mr Hedley.
“I think we have a school here with enormous potential here but we are not complacent. We have quite a lot of work to do and we are up for that.
“I hope to build on a very, very rich history.
“It is an enormous privilege to be head of this school and it is a responsibility I will take very seriously.”