Chair of Governors Update
Chair’s Update September 2022
As we start the new academic year it seemed timely to write a new update, reflecting a little on the past couple of years and looking ahead to 2022/23.
As a Governing Board we have been extremely proud of the College and how the staff have risen to meet the challenges created by the pandemic. Hopefully this year will see a return to “normal” for the whole year – for the first time since 2018/19. The team worked extremely hard to put all the measures in place to try to deal with the impact of the pandemic: from segregating year groups and changing the school day, to testing, to on-line learning – the list could go on, but it’s good to feel that all of that is now behind us. I was particularly pleased that the communication between the College and our families was so good during this time – a tribute to all the work that has been done over the past few years to set up effective channels of communication, which really paid off. The good news this year, as you may have seen from the press releases relating to our exam results, is that, despite everything, results for both A levels and GCSEs improved compared with 2019 – the last time students sat external exams. This was very pleasing given that many students were quite anxious about sitting exams, especially those in Post 16 who hadn’t sat external GCSE exams.
Looking ahead we have the opening of the new building on Green Close, as well as the additional new block on Gipsy Lane, both due to open in the Spring of next year. I was able to have a tour round the Green Close site during the summer term and it was already possible to see just how transformational this building will be to our College site. The new drama space and the library, in particular, are going to be quite spectacular compared with what was there previously. At last, Exmouth is going to have College buildings fit for purpose in the 21st century! Our Estates and Facilities team are having to work extremely hard to make sure that everything goes ahead as planned and we will keep you fully informed of the details for opening as we get closer to the date.
As we all know, though, the buildings are only a small part of the education provision in the College – far more important is the teaching and learning that happens every day, alongside our focus on student wellbeing, which remains at the centre of our ethos to provide the best education and opportunities for all our students. We have always prided ourselves on offering a huge number of extra-curricular activities for our students – across a wide range of subjects and disciplines. The staff worked hard last year to reintroduce as many as they could, despite Covid, and we had our usual sporting triumphs as well as drama, dance and music productions, Ten Tors and Duke of Edinburgh and the art show - and we still managed to run a very successful activities week. None of this was straightforward and the Governing Board were very appreciative of the efforts staff put in, to try to make the year as normal as possible for students.
The Board itself has seen a number of Governors leaving at the end of the summer term and we were particularly sorry to say “goodbye” to Jill Elson who has been a committed and enthusiastic member of the Board since 1996 and who was Chair for three years. We will be writing out soon to invite parents to fill the vacancies for parent Governors and if you are at all interested in this and would like to find out more then please contact Natalie Mann, our Governance professional, on 01395255626 or email her at Natalie.Mann@exmouthcollege.devon.sch.uk. More details will be included in the communication we will send out, but to be honest the main requirement is to have some time to give and an interest in supporting the College!
Chair of Governors