Wednesday 8 January 2014

Head Teacher for The Heights Speaks Up

Karen Edwards (centre) with Rob Wilson MP and me after the meeting
The Heights primary school’s information event yesterday evening was a huge success. Held in Mapledurham Pavilion, the hall was jam packed with parents of prospective pupils and other interested people from the local community.

It was the first opportunity for many to meet Karen Edwards, whose appointment as head teacher was announced in November.  I however was lucky enough to be involved in the interview process so have met her before. 

I was absolutely delighted that The Heights was able to recruit Karen as it was critical to get the right person for this pivotal role.  To have won Karen's confidence and succeeded in getting her to take the leap of faith to set up this new school shows the strength of her belief in the parent group trustee’s vision for The Heights. 

Karen is a top-notch head teacher and she will, I am sure, bring all her energy, experience and enthusiasm to the school.  Her ethos is centred on providing an excellent education, bringing on board everybody in the local community.  She has demonstrated this at Sacred Heart in Henley - her current school, and so relishes the opportunity to create this here in Caversham Heights.  

Parent trustees Ruth Rosewell and Daniel Pagella, together with Karen Edwards gave a presentation detailing the background to the bid for the new school, outlining what free schools are, talking about the rationale and evidence of demand, together with catchment area.  The hottest topic: that of where the school will be sited, could not be answered unfortunately.  An announcement is imminent, however because the site location decision is down to the Education Funding Agency (EFA) neither it, nor the timing of the announcement, is within the control of The Heights.  Do check The Heights' website regularly for updates.

As I said during the meeting, any parent living in the catchment applying for a primary school place for this September should put it down as a preference.  Not to do so would be foolish as they would be missing out on the opportunity of being a part of what will undoubtedly be an outstanding local community school.  It would also be losing the most realistic chance of getting a local primary school place given the evidence of previous years.

Our community is incredibly lucky to have Karen and I hope everyone will give her, together with the wonderful parent trustees of The Heights, the support they all deserve for the huge service they are providing for the new generation and those to come.

You can read what Rob Wilson MP said on his website

Further update
You can read GetReading's report of the meeting.  [The misquote of Daniel Pagella that appeared in the hard copy on Friday has been corrected]