Monday, November 06, 2006

 
Head’s Blog

This section of our website is intended for parents and is to allow me to inform you of my thoughts on a range of issues as and when they arise. The thoughts expressed are my own and have not necessarily discussed with the staff or Governors.

The Expansion

I’ve been asked by a number of new parents why we are a building site and I thought it would be useful to outline why we had agreed to expand.

The most obvious reason was that there was a need locally for additional primary school places. This was the main reason that caused Westminster Council to approve and fund the project. However there are other reasons.

Gateway had already expanded the number of children it had and, as a result, was finding the common areas of the school under great strain. For a school that is supposed to be at the forefront of using ICT in school we have no dedicated ICT suite. The library was far too small and ill equipped and many lessons were taking place in corridors and staircase landings. In short the building was no longer fit to provide a 21st century education.

Running small schools is becoming increasingly difficult. The ever changing demands made on schools means that they are becoming increasingly expensive to operate. The economies of scale offered by a larger intake mean we should be able to continue to devote a large amount of our budget to staffing. This is what makes Gateway the school it is.

There are risks with the expansion. Will the building programme be very disruptive? Parents quite rightly rejected the first plan because of the length of time it would take and we plan to complete the work by August 2007. So far the work has gone to time and with minimal disruption to classroom life. Will the enlarged Gateway remain the school it was? To be honest, no. No school should remain the same and I believe the enlarged Gateway will be better staffed, equipped and be a more welcoming place for parents to come to. It will not be the same it will be better.

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