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Governor's letter to parents

16 June 2017 (by julie)

New leadership arrangements in place for September

Dear Parents

As you may be aware, our Headteacher, Bev George, Deputy Head, Julie Groves and Business Manager, Jane Jursins, are retiring at the end of August 2017. A big vote of thanks is due to our staff for their many years of hard work and dedication to our school. Due to the retirement of three such important staff myself and the Chair of Governors have, over the last few months, been involved in many discussions with fellow governors and the Local Authority in order to ensure we make the best possible decisions about the next steps for Strong Close Nursery School and the Airedale and Wharfedale Childrens Centre Cluster. As a result I am pleased to be able to share with you that we have now formally entered into a collaboration with two local Nursery Schools which we believe will help both sustain and further develop our work at this challenging time. The other Nursery Schools involved are Midland Road and Abbey Green. This move provides three local nursery schools and two children’s centre clusters with the leadership and strategic direction to benefit from each other, share best practice and collaborate on achieving outstanding education for our children.

Already the three schools have begun to work hard to ensure that we can feel confident about the future and I am pleased to announce that as from September 2017, Sharon Hogan from Midland Road will be acting as Executive Headteacher and Helen Jones from Abbey Green will be acting as Head of School. All Governing Bodies have been involved in this process and are delighted with their decision. These arrangements will be in place for two terms and enable the three schools to work together and implement a permanent solution.

Both colleagues come with an immense amount of leadership experience and I know have a strong commitment to working in partnership with parents. Sharon has been Headteacher at two Outstanding Nursery Schools and is a National Leader of Education; Helen has acted as Deputy Headteacher at Abbey Green and is the Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator there.

I’m pleased to say that transition plans are now in place and both Sharon and Helen have already begun meeting with Senior Leaders and will be regularly doing so throughout the rest of the half term. I know they are keen, once they take up their appointment in September, to arrange a meeting with parents which I also hope to attend.

I do appreciate that the changes ahead may cause some anxieties, but I think we can all feel confident that we are now in a strong position to meet the challenges.

Please do not hesitate to contact me through the school office if you have any questions. I hope you will join me in welcoming Sharon and Helen to our school and children’s centre cluster.


Jill Gilhome, June 2017
Vice Chair of Governors of Strong Close Nursery School and Airedale and Wharfedale Children’s Centre Cluster