Dear Parents and Carers
It is always a pleasure to welcome Matt Western MP into school, especially as the meeting becomes a kind of reflective supervision where I can vent about a whole range of things, mostly funding related. Also, looking at the picture, nice to see that Matt and I seem to share the same barber, though I think very different dieticians.
On this occasion there was something quite specific I wanted to discuss and this was about the funds that Government holds to support schools in improving building stock or rebuilding. In the past I have mentioned when we have been successful with a bid to complete work in school or, as with our new teaching block, where we have worked in collaboration with Warwickshire County Council and the Stowe Valley Trust. However, I don’t mention the many bids that are unsuccessful and this is happening more regularly with our applications to the DfE. Our main school buildings are tired and extremely expensive to maintain and we have been bidding at every opportunity to the school rebuilding fund in the hope of rebuilding upper school and lower school. As the fund is not sufficient to keep pace with the Government’s own school rebuilding targets, we haven’t been optimistic and therefore also bid into other pots of money, especially as we need to urgently replace our boilers and heating distribution system. Unfortunately, we have had no success with either pots and the reasons given are never satisfying.
There are many schools in need of this money, we are far from alone, and I know some schools in Warwickshire are getting rebuilt and deservedly so. However, I also believe it is our turn and I would like to thank Matt for hearing me out on all of this, for indulging my political conspiracy theories about where the money is going, and thank him and his team in advance for their support on future bids.
As it happens, I have another political heavyweight visiting today, ex-student Mitchell Burns-Jackson. Mitchell used his own experiences to set up our LGBTQ+ group in the Sixth Form and this continues to support students in all year groups. Mitchell left us in 2020, is now graduating from University, and has secured a job with the Labour Party. We are very proud of him and have been for a long time. He joins the long list of our students who enter the political world via research posts or positions in policy units etc., all having been inspired by Mark Sykes, who has been galvanising political minds here since 1834, give or take.
Given Mitchell’s connections in Westminster, I will look forward to talking at the big man for an hour and giving Matt a break from the diatribe.
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