Friday 28th September

Part of my job as a headteacher in school is to support staff in their professional development. This may mean to continue to improve as classroom teachers, to develop as leaders in the school and ultimately, if the teacher desires, to move on to deputy headship and headship.

Whilst this is very positive for the staff and the school, it can create issues when our staff decide it’s time to move on and ‘spread their wings’. The gaps left in School when they take their talents and expertise elsewhere can seem huge and cause concern for colleagues and parents alike. This is particularly true when a member of staff has been part of our school for a long time and gives over and above in all areas. The timing of such events can also create problems too!

It has been a really difficult decision for the Governing Body and myself to make in supporting Mr Oram’s secondment to Crickhowell Primary School as assistant head. Whilst this is a huge opportunity for Mr Oram, it leaves Llantilio without his talents and expertise. I understand that this creates unease and tension for parents. I hope the opportunity of a meeting reassured everyone that we will do everything we can to support a smooth transition for the children in year 4. I know Mrs Sutherland is very much looking forward to teaching year 4 again.

We have also secured the support of one of our new parents, Mrs Emma Morris, who has agreed to support Mrs Bawler to ensure that the choir continues to grow this year. We intend to enter the Eisteddfod as usual and carry on the strong tradition of music and singing in Llantilio until Mr Oram returns.

I am really keen to act on some of the concerns raised in the meeting, particularly ensuring we are as clear as possible in our communications to you. We try to get as much information out via SeeSaw, texts, newsletters and the website – which I know needs updating – but if you have any ideas of ways we can continue to improve communication I would love to hear them.

We have a few training days coming up this term. On Friday 12th the school will be closed to pupils whilst the staff are trained in some strategies for improving spelling in school and on Monday 5th November all Abergavenny schools are closed for us to attend whole cluster training on supporting pupils who have suffered Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) and aspects of the new curriculum.

I am out quite a lot this coming week, a meeting of all Monmouthshire heads on Tuesday afternoon, a budget monitoring meeting on Wednesday morning, an EAS seminar on Thursday morning and a Core Group meeting on Friday afternoon! Hopefully I will fit in some time to spend with the children!! I have really enjoyed teaching in a few classes this week and hope to do this far more often in the future!

Mrs Joanne Bayton

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