Headteacher's Blog

I am so pleased and excited to have been appointed as the new Headteacher of Maiden Erlegh Chiltern Edge.

To become a Headteacher is both a privilege and an honour and I can’t wait to begin.  To lead a community of young people, to see them progress and prosper and achieve their academic ambitions and personal goals is one of the most amazing things one can achieve in life.  It was clear to me when I visited the school on a tour prior to the interview and on the interview days themselves what incredible potential lies within the student community of MECE.  All of the students I met were articulate, confident and well-presented and one thing that shone through was their pride in the school and what it stands for.  From my first visit, I felt this was somewhere that really aligned with my values and what I was looking for in a school.

I know the school has been through a turbulent period in recent years but from my visit and interview I am clear that progress is now tangible and the school is moving rapidly in the right direction.  The Maiden Erlegh Trust are a wonderful sponsor and I will be working closely alongside Mary Davies, the CEO of the Trust, in ensuring that I maximise the opportunities for further improvement. I would also like to publically pay tribute to Richard Hawthorne, who has been Acting Head of School since September.  The calm and purposeful atmosphere and the loyalty of the students has been, in no small part, down to his steady hand on the tiller.

My journey to MECE has been lengthy and varied.  I have been Deputy Headteacher at Brakenhale School in Bracknell since September 2015.  Brakenhale has had a long history of low achievement and poor behaviour however as a part of a team we have transformed the school beyond recognition.  A huge waiting list, a very positive OFSTED report (with three Outstanding categories out of five) and results that have improved beyond recognition means I look back at my time there with great satisfaction indeed.  The experience I have gained as a part of this team and in a truly comprehensive school will be invaluable in the journey I want to take MECE on over the next few years.  Prior to this I was Assistant Headteacher at The Downs School in Compton.  As Post 16 leader I oversaw seven years of incredible results with many students securing places at Oxbridge and the wider Russell Group of universities.  With my knowledge and experience of these matters I look forward to ensuring that MECE students have all the information they need to make the right choices as they move from Year 11 to the next exciting phase of their lives.

My values and philosophy towards education are simple.  I believe that every student is capable of great work and making the right choices.  I will be working hard to inculcate an aspirational mind-set into all of the students but at the same time ensuring all students who need extra support and opportunity can access this.  Furthermore, I believe that teaching and learning must always be of a high quality, delivering both challenge and a nurturing environment to allow all students to progress.  Education and knowledge can open so many doors, develop passions and give young people a passport to access the world beyond South Oxfordshire.  Consequently, it is crucial that our staff remember just how vital they are in creating futures for the young people in front of them.  With this in mind, I will be working tirelessly with my staff to ensure the quality of lessons and education remains high at all times.

In my first few months in post I intend to meet as many local stakeholders in the local community as possible, listening to your ideas and feedback.  I want to make MECE the first choice for the local community and your views and ideas will be invaluable as we all move forward together.  

I look forward to working for you and with you.

Andy Hartley