Welcome to Dawlish College.
It is an absolute privilege to have been invited to take on the role of Head Of College at Dawlish College; especially at such a positive time as it flourishes within the Formal Management Partnership with Newton Abbot College. Our GCSE results this year have been excellent with students out-performing the national average in many subjects and English and maths passes being the highest in the area.
Dawlish College is a vibrant and exciting place to be, where we have the highest expectations of staff and students alike and seek to provide challenge at every available opportunity. As a small school, we have a very proud record of holistic support, care and individual attention: the happiness and well-being of our students is of paramount importance and is a vital foundation for their growth and development. Our college has an atmosphere of creativity and positivity that is generated by the provision of excellent opportunities for every individual thereby maximising the outcomes and improving the life chances of the young people in our care.
As a parent myself, I understand that you want your child to be inspired, supported and challenged to be the best version of themselves within an environment that knows them and values them as an individual. Thank you for entrusting me with the care and education of your child, present or future, and I look forward to unlocking their ambitions as I get to know them and work closely with you.
Head Of College
We had a lively and interesting meeting, where a number of issues and questions were discussed. The discussion points are below. We look forward to you all joining us at the next meeting which is scheduled to take place before the end of term in July
Notes from Parents’ Forum meeting – 1st May 2019
Issues surrounding funding were aired in the light of national challenges and the impact upon our budget. This is an issue for all schools.
Whilst our current Year 7 is small, next year is far more positive as a cohort of 122. Unfortunately the budget is paid a year in arrears. This will undoubtedly have an impact but we are working with the Head of Education and finance team to discuss best ways forward. We are seeing an increase in in-year admissions with numbers growing and making plans to move forward, so we are positive about the future.
Parental contributions were discussed as an option. The Leadership Team have previously discussed the moral implications of this. The damage for asking for money far outweighs the potential funding. Gossip and community perception could be damaging. Parent Forum (PTA) could possibly fund raise to support the buying of equipment through events to raise funds through the College creating a wish list, with students and parents asked for ideas.
Grants can and will be applied for. We are currently awaiting the results of our application for a grant from Tescos.
It would be helpful for parents to write to MPs. Even a short email would support our cause.
Students are working towards the college charity. They are working on some ideas, including clothes swap and Terracycle.
Some changes have already been made to support us becoming a plastics free school. This includes a move to wooden cutlery, refillable water stations, and we are investigating further changes.
We are looking into funding for water fountains.
Mr Fisher is currently working with a group as part of the Green Schools Project and some of the group have attended Recycle Devon workshops.
Changes to school day
Consultation information has recently gone out to parents and carers, exploring the possibilities of starting and finishing earlier. (8.45am start with Tutor time after p.2). The earlier finish will be helpful for running additional classes, clubs and activities, especially in the winter.
County have been involved and the next stage will be to agree these changes once comments have been received.
Coach lateness was also discussed. This is being followed up and punctuality is improved.
Pick up/drop off may cause some issues for families. Some students are dropping off siblings. However, it was also raised that the proposed changes may help some families
Further clarification about the timings of the day will be published shortly.
There were concerns that homework is not always published on EPraise. This will be followed up. Mrs Wickham made it clear that if it is not on Epraise there will be no consequence. Students have been asked to bring this to the Leadership’s attention and Mrs Wickham will reinforce this message with staff.
Homework across holidays, and the impact of revision on all years, was discussed and it was felt by some that at times homework given is excessive, meaning students cannot relax. There is no current policy for holidays but an expectation that the same amount across a week would/should be set.
It was suggested that a display of what equipment is needed by students would be useful at the Pastoral evening, particularly for Year sevens. It would be helpful to reinforce what is available from the school shop as this is often cheaper.
Uniform – some blazers and skirts are poor quality. Mrs Wickham clarified that research has been done to find the best fit. We found no other suitable company.
Rivets on the skirts are not very strong and can pop off quite easily. Thomas Moore will re-do it. The Skirt length remains a problem and a letter to parents will be used as a reminder for all years.
Donations – blazers, revision guides, ties etc are gratefully received and used.
It was clarified that the e-mail about gaming was only sent to boys in Years 7, 8, 9 and 10.