Bright future on timetable for high school

Todmorden High School students with acting headteacher Gill Shirt and executive headteacher Chris Taylor.

Todmorden High School students with acting headteacher Gill Shirt and executive headteacher Chris Taylor.

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‘We are in a strong position to embrace the future and continue to offer a first rate eduction for students’.

That’s the message from Todmorden High School as it moves in to 2017.

It has been an eventful year for the school - while a new school building was approved, it was announced its sixth form would close once current students have completed their studies.

Staffing changes have also been made and executive head teacher Chris Taylor says these decisions were “unavoidable” as the school faced budget challenges.

Despite those challenges, he says the future looks bright for the school.

“In the last year, we have had to make sure that our outgoings do not exceed our income and we have also had to deal with a significant debt,” he said.

“This is a process that many schools are about to start, are going through, or, like us, have recently concluded.

“We are delighted that our financial review process is complete and we have now implemented a financial plan that will ensure the ongoing success of the school.

“This leaves us in a strong position to embrace the future and continue to offer a really first rate education for our students.

“We are continuing to develop - we are soon beginning a new building phase at the school, but we remain the same in terms of our passion for learning, committed staff, high quality teaching and great results.”

Mr Taylor has worked in a number of secondary schools and has been head teacher at three before taking on his role in Todmorden.

He describes the school as “exceptional”.

He said: “It is very unusual, and a delight in my view, to find a secondary school where every student is known individually and looked after with such care.

“Todmorden High School is like a big family. The huge invesment made in developing really good teaching has paid off in terms of really good learning on the part of our students.

“There really is a focus here on preparing students for the real world through equipping them with good social skills, teaching them how to learn, how to manage risk, how to lead and be led, how to cope with making mistakes and how to develop a ‘can do’ attitude.

“As a result we all really like working and learning here.

“The best accolade I can give the school is that if my daughter was 11 years old again, I would choose this school for her.”

An inspection by education watchdog OFSTED inMarch 2015 gave the school the ‘good’ rating and described it as “rapidly improving”.

The report said the vast majority of students make good progress, teaching is good and students are positive and students with disabilities achieve well.

It also praised the school for promoting students’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development and said good progress is made in years 7 to 11.