Big Interview: Becoming Kesteven and Grantham Girls’ School head was a ‘proud day’
It is clear from speaking to David Scott how proud he is of his new role as headteacher of Kesteven and Grantham Girls’ School.
As a member of staff for 25 years, and a parent of a former KGGS pupil, it is fair to say he knows the school inside and out.
* How has KGGS changed during your time?
I came here as head of maths, and it was a very different school in those days. For example we used to have about 10 girls doing A-level maths, now we have around 70 or 80. I was then promoted to assistant headteacher, and then deputy head. Headteacher Graham Burks was here eight years and from day one we worked very closely together. The climate of the school is now one where academic success is celebrated within the school by the students. A lot of that is down to Graham. We’ve always had very bright students, and they’ve always worked hard, but I think the things that Graham has put in place has enabled them to see themselves in a better light, and we carry that on. The girls aren’t afraid to say ‘yes I did work hard and I have done well’.
* KGGS has once again enjoyed fantastic results, but you also highlight the importance of value added from results in primary school.
Yes, that is the main thing for me. I want our students to do better than they would have done if they’d gone to another school. And we’ve got the data that shows that is the case. The results are great. And for me it’s also great when, for example, we have the whole school’s photograph taken and you see how well organised the girls are, and how they support each other. It’s days like that, actually, which are the most impressive.
* Will there be any changes at the school?
I want them to continue with the levels of success. There are lots of changes happening that are not under our control, with the introduction of new GCSEs in maths and English and about half of the AS-levels changing. It’s important that we steer the right course through those changes for our students. In a sense things will look quite different at this school in terms of what students are doing, but we’ve always had the strategy here to look ahead two or three years, so it won’t come as a shock to students or staff.
* How would you describe your style as headteacher?
I always put the students first. When I’m dealing with a student my line is how would I like my daughter to be dealt with in that situation. That doesn’t mean let them do what they want to, but deal with people fairly and be very open about why I’m making those decisions. My daughter Catherine went through this school. She is a doctor in environmental science, and she came here last year as a special guest speaker. That was the proudest day of my life, closely followed by when I took over here.
* How has the reaction been from parents?
The parents are brilliant at this school. They want the best for their girls and at the parents evening they are all there. Of course if you have a daughter in Year 7 and 8, and you hear that there’s going to be a change in headteacher it can be worrying, but from the comments I’ve received I think they are confident the school’s success will carry on.