The Board of Governors met yesterday evening using a digital conference facility, to discuss the school’s response to the current Coronavirus pandemic and to review progress in a number of key areas. Governors wish to place on record their thanks to everyone within our school community - staff, students and families - for everything that they are doing to maintain vibrant learning throughout this unprecedented time. The effort that has gone on in the background to put in place new, temporary ways of working has been outstanding. Governors heard about the work to establish the Key Workers Club, to set out temporary terms and conditions for staff, to establish education at home and to safely close down the school site. All tasks were carried out swiftly and successfully. The focus now will be on getting the schemes of work for education at home fully established so that all students are engaged.
Previously it was announced that our Executive Headteacher, Denis Oliver, will retire this summer after over twenty years in charge. His leadership has been pivotal to the outstanding success of our school over the past two decades. This was never more important than in the past three years when the school community needed very clear and consistent leadership in the face of several traumatic events. Governors recognise that the current situation is totally without precedent and not the environment in which anyone would have expected to say goodbye or indeed to be recruiting a new Headteacher. This is an extremely important decision to make during a time of such uncertainty.
Yesterday the Board of Governors voted unanimously, to take a series of actions with regard to the Executive Headteacher appointment. First of all, governors are suspending the external recruitment process until later in the year when schools return to normal working. Those who have already applied have been informed.
Secondly, governors were unanimous in deciding to ask Nigel Bielby, who is currently Head of School, to become the Headteacher for the school year 2020/21, a twelve month period from 1st September 2020. This role was offered to Nigel today, Tuesday 31st March 2020, and he accepted the position. Governors are therefore announcing that Nigel Bielby will be Headteacher at Holmes Chapel Comprehensive School and Sixth Form College from 1st September 2020, following the retirement of Denis Oliver, for a period of one year. This will provide the stability and continuity that staff, students and parents need as we look ahead and plan the next school year.
Nigel joined the senior leadership team eleven years ago as Deputy Headteacher before moving to his current job as Head of School two years ago. Nigel has a wealth of experience in education and leadership. The governors are delighted to be able to offer him this role and are confident that the appointment will place the school community in a strong position when the time is right to return to normal working.
We hope that everyone will welcome this news and also the early intervention of the Board of Governors at such a critical time.