Happy New Year

Happy New Year to you all! I am writing this as I prepare to start the new term. Usually, it is not a great way to spend the last day of the holidays – preparing for the term ahead; it’s still dark but all the Christmas lights have gone, it’s cold and wet and hard to think about setting the alarm again. This year, however, is different. I couldn’t be more excited to get to work. The first day of being Head of School at John Taylor Free School!

What am I so excited about? First of all it is about meeting new people. I am really looking forward to building relationships with parents and their children. This is why I am a teacher; I enjoy working with young people to open their minds to new ideas, to motivate and inspire them to want the very best for themselves and others. I enjoy the partnerships which make schools successful; students, parents, teachers and the local community all working together for the best interests of young people. We are planning further meetings in the locality to provide opportunities for prospective students (and their parents) to come and speak to us and find out more about what the Free School has to offer. Dates and venues will be published shortly but are likely to be in and around Hilton, Burton town centre and in the Rosliston area. We are still welcoming applications and I would be delighted to answer any questions you may have and to share the plans going forward. I am also looking forward to working closely with the team at JTMAT and at John Taylor High School. I am keen to learn as much as I can from these highly successful teams about what works and how we can apply this learning to a brand new community.

Staff recruitment is another exciting opportunity for me. I am looking forward to meeting highly qualified professionals who want to work with me to create an outstanding learning environment. We will start with an open event, for anyone interested in applying to work at the Free School, towards the end of January. This event is designed to explain how the application and recruitment process will work, to introduce the Free School Team and explain the vision and values of the school. Recruitment is always interesting; I enjoy hearing about why people want to work in a school, what drives them and how they see their role in shaping the next generation.

Secondly, I am excited to put ideas into action. There have been several months since my appointment and the Free School Team have been working on the plans for even longer. Now is the time for bringing it all together and ensuring that the commitments we have made are brought to fruition. I am a creative person but I also like to see an outcome.  Over the next few weeks and months, we will be able to finalise the details which will enable the project to move from bids and proposals, consultations and discussions to a school with children and adults working and learning together. The building will be completed but that alone will not ensure a successful community. People and ideas coming together with high aspirations for each other and for the future; a school where hard work, kindness and respect are the foundation stones for everyone to succeed and thrive.

I can’t wait to get started!

Sue Plant

Sue Plant
Head of School Designate