A personal view

lorna.jpgMy forthcoming retirement creates an outstanding opportunity to lead Fulford School and the South York MAT at an exciting time in our development.

We have, together, built a rare and precious legacy of sustained expectation and high performance, leading to high achievement. The school’s results speak for themselves; but as a teacher, what is most rewarding is the palpable pleasure and reward our students derive from their own academic and personal growth. This results from the outstanding care provided in our school and the fantastic opportunities it offers to our students.

With a long and established record of excellent results at KS4 and KS5, Fulford School is regularly oversubscribed for Year 7 and has recruited strongly in recent years to key staff roles. Its performance is routinely in the top 20% of secondary schools in the country at GCSE; this year, our post-16 performance put us in the top 10% of providers. Our self-evaluation continues to grade the school as Outstanding, and this is validated by the LA assessment of the school.

Fulford School continues to grow, with the Year 7 PAN of 240 being routinely exceeded; over 260 students are expected to join the school in September 2019. Our catchment is drawn from villages to the south-east of the city, areas around York University, and from the Fulford and Fishergate neighbourhoods of the city. The school has an urban/rural catchment mix with large numbers of students traveling to school by bus.

Our expansion has seen new building, with the construction of a Sports Hall and a new teaching block, and through the redevelopment of areas of the school site. 2019 will see the completion of a reroofing project, plus major refurbishment of the science labs, as well as improved IT infrastructure. There is still work to do in managing the expansion, particularly the flow of higher numbers through the school, and we expect further development of the school’s site and support services to address this.

Fulford has a talented and highly experienced senior leadership group, with strong and skilled middle leaders at all levels of the organisation. There are specialist teaching staff in all subject areas and we have recruited strongly at all levels of the school despite the recruitment pressures of recent years. The introduction of the national funding formula is now benefitting school finances and will improve the already strong budget position of the school. It is not a cash-rich school, but our excellent Finance Director and support from the governing body enable us to manage its resources highly effectively.

Of course, challenges remain, and there are important priorities for my successor to focus on. In addition to the improvement plan for Fulford itself, you will also contribute to strengthening long-standing relationships with talented and experienced local heads from our Trust and other partner schools, as we grow and develop the SYMAT.

On a personal level, I have to say that this is a fabulous school to lead. I have been genuinely privileged and blessed to work with wonderful staff, students, parents, Governors, Trustees and local school leaders; moreover, the current school staffing is the strongest I have known it in the 23 years I have been here. The strength of these fundamentals will provide you with exceptional foundations on which to build.

Fulford School and the SYMAT are great places to work, study and grow. I very much look forward to working with the successful candidate, and to seeing both the school and SYMAT flourish and prosper under their leadership.

Lorna Savage
Head, Fulford School / CEO, SYMAT