Climate Change Protest

Wednesday 18th September 2019

Dear students, parents and carers,

Re: Campaign Against Climate Change

Many in our school community feel strongly about climate change and rightly so. You might know therefore that another young people’s protest in the Campaign Against Climate Change is scheduled for Friday 20th September. 

As previously, this puts the School in a difficult position. On one hand, we respect our students’ passionate concerns about climate change and indeed the cause itself. On the other hand, if the School were to authorise absence from school for this, we would be agreeing to students missing important learning each time – and moreover, we agree to students taking part in a public protest without our supervision. We would be in a terrible position if something unpleasant or dangerous happened and the School had condoned, indeed encouraged students’ participation. 

Every day in school is important for students’ learning, including new content, assessments and coursework. We all know that missing lessons puts students at a disadvantage. The administration and management of attendance around the protest is considerable, as is the additional teacher-time spent enabling students who miss lessons to catch up. 

While we understand why some students might want to attend the next protest, we urge them not to and we would appreciate parents’ and carers’ support with this.  Parents and carers: if your child does, with your permission, take part in the protest, please inform the School of their absence in the usual way. 

I hope to have outlined here a clear picture of how the School both supports the climate change cause and needs also to fulfil its duty to deliver education and not agree to activities during school time over which we have no control. 

Following this letter is some advice from the Metropolitan Police about the protests who are concerned about young people’s safety.  

Best regards,

Ms Pugh

Kathryn Pugh

Headteacher

Metropolitan Police Letter

Leaflet

 

“Worth Less?”: a letter from Ms Pugh about school funding

Dear students, parents, carers, staff, governors and all St Marylebone community,

Worth Less? school funding update

As you know, the School has been actively campaigning as part of the Worth Less? campaign for better funding for schools.  Here is an update.

Despite intense lobbying of the Government and Department for Education, matters remain extremely challenging.  In short, schools are still not being provided with adequate funding and resource to deliver the level of provision and support that is expected and that our families and children deserve.

Current national concerns:

  • Since 2010 school budgets have been reduced in real terms by 8% and by 20% at post-16
  • Class sizes are rising and the curriculum offer is being restricted
  • Increasingly, schools are being asked to support with children’s emotional health and wellbeing.  Frequently, we do not have adequate resource to meet a growing need.
  • Often, the most vulnerable students, those from disadvantaged backgrounds or those with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND), are bearing the brunt of cuts and schools are struggling to provide the levels of support due to these students.

This short clip gives you more information: https://www.theguardian.com/education/video/2019/feb/28/why-are-englands-schools-at-breaking-point-video

These issues are not only affecting a few schools.  They are common features across our education system up and down the country.  The concern is so widespread amongst headteachers that we are all working together in the Worth Less? campaign.  

As such, we have written to the Secretary of State for Education on three separate occasions since September 2018.  We are dismayed that he has chosen to ignore our communications and repeated requests to meet. On 13 December 2018, we were informed by a junior civil servant that I am afraid that, on this occasion, the Secretary of State and the Minister of State must decline your offer to meet.  I hope you will understand that their time is heavily pressurised and their diaries need to be prioritised according to ministerial, Parliamentary and constituency business.  

Given the seriousness of the current school funding crisis and the impact upon schools, children and families, headteacher colleagues and I think this approach is entirely ill-judged.  On 14 January 2019, we wrote again to the Secretary of State for Education asking that he reconsider meeting with representative headteachers. Six weeks later, this request was declined once more: “As I’m sure you will appreciate, both their diaries are very full and they are unable to accept your kind offer at this time.”  

In September 2018, over 2000 headteachers campaigned at Westminster in order to underline the seriousness of the current situation.  This action was unprecedented.

The Worth Less? campaign group now comprises 64 local authorities and boroughs, covering thousands of schools and millions of families.  This gives a clear indication of the levels of concern felt by reasonable and moderate head teachers in England.

We recognise that there is not a bottomless pit of money and also acknowledge that many local MPs across the political spectrum are taking a supportive approach.  We must make clear, however, that the current response from the Department for Education is inadequate.

Why we need to meet with the DfE:

  • We want to contribute constructively to overcome current funding issues.
  • We want to convey the serious concerns expressed by families regarding inadequate levels of resource and provision, especially for our most vulnerable students.
  • We want to ensure that schools receive a much better deal when future Government spending plans (the Comprehensive Spending Review) are drawn up over the next few months.  
  • We want to indicate serious and rising concerns relating to the wider pastoral and social care that schools are expected, by default, to provide against a background of severe cuts to local authority provision.

Headteacher colleagues and I really appreciate how we have been so strongly supported by our communities as we campaign for a much improved level of funding for our schools and pupils.  We urge you to continue to make representations to your local MP, to the Department for Education and wider Government to ensure that matters improve.

I’ll endeavour to keep you updated on the facts and to campaign vigorously over coming weeks and months.  A positive starting point should come from the Secretary of State for Education in the form of a meeting.

Meantime, be assured: St Marylebone’s can-do spirit will continue to offer the best we can to our young people.

Yours faithfully,

Ms Pugh

Early School Closure Yr 7, 8, 10 & 11 – Thursday 7th March, 2019

Key Stage 4 Curriculum Choices – Year 9 Options

Dear Parent/Carer,

Next week, on Thursday, March 7th, the school will be holding its Key Stage 4 options afternoon and evening for all Year 9 students. In order for this to take place students in Years 7, 8, 10 and 11 will be dismissed from school at 12.50pm. Year 9 will remain in school as normal until 3.30pm. Please can we ask that you make the necessary arrangements to expect your daughter home earlier on this day. Year 12 and 13 will not be affected by this early closure, lessons will continue as normal for them in the afternoon.

Year 9 Parents/Carers

Your daughter has now received the Options Booklet and has listened to the Options Assembly. On Thursday, March 7th, Year 9  will have an options afternoon, where they will hear directly from subject staff and will be able to ask subject specific questions regarding courses offered.  On the same day, from 5pm – 7pm, you are invited into school for the options evening at the school’s main site. During this time you will have the opportunity to speak to Heads of Learning and subject staff.  There will also be a presentation given for parents/carers about the options process. Please attend either the first presentation at 5.15pm or the second presentation at 6pm. The evening will finish at 7pm. Please read through the options booklet with your daughter before this important day.

 If you have any questions, please come and speak to me at the options evening or e-mail me:  s.george@stmaryleboneschool.com

I look forward to seeing you at the options evening next week.

Yours faithfully,

Ms S. George

Assistant Headteacher – Curriculum

Early School Closure Yr 7, 8, 10 & 11 – Thursday 7th March, 2019

St Marylebone Messenger

Warm yourself up with the new edition of our school magazine, The St Marylebone Messenger, Winter/Spring 2019. Edited by Flora and Caitlin in Year 13, assisted by Simran in Year 11, it is packed with a wide array of lively accounts of trips and educational visits (from Bletchley Park to Snowdonia), activities closer to home (e.g. Shakespeare Summer School) as well as thought-provoking articles (e.g. on ‘toxic masculinity’ and Black History Month), and poetry inspired by Refugee Week. All this is complemented by gorgeous artwork as well as photographs, including …

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LETTER REGARDING PARENT GOVERNOR ELECTION

23rd January 2019

Dear Parents and Carers,

PARENT GOVERNOR ELECTION

 Would you – or someone you know – like to be a Parent Governor? Our School Governing Body has a vacancy for a Parent Governor and we are looking for nominations from parents who would be interested in filling this role.

The role of the Governing Body is to help shape the overall direction of the School, monitor progress and standards, review and approve the budget, appoint and support the Headteacher and senior staff, review policies and procedures and ensure the School fulfils its statutory duties.

Governing Body meetings are held on Tuesday evenings. There are six meetings a year and Governors are also expected to be a member of a sub-committee which will also meet on a Tuesday six times a year. For more information about the role of a School Governor please contact our Clerk, Martha Blackwell, (clerk@stmaryleboneschool.com). Training and support will also be provided.

If you are interested, please fill in the form below, including the signatures of a proposer and a seconder who must be a parent or carer of a pupil at our school. Please also include a short statement about yourself (a maximum of 150 words) with, if you wish, a passport sized photograph. This information will be circulated to all parents in the event of an election; which will be held if there is more than one nomination. Your form, statement and optional photograph should be given to Dot at Reception by 12.30pm on Thursday, 7th February 2019.

The election will be by ballot and every eligible parent will be able to vote. We will send you more information about this later.

The closing date for the receipt of nominations is 12.30pm on Thursday, 7th February 2019. Please contact Dot at Reception if you require another copy of this letter. A copy can also be found on the School Website.

Yours faithfully,  

Kathryn Pugh

Headteacher

———————————————————————————————

ELECTION OF A PARENT GOVERNOR

Please return to Dot at Reception by 12.30pm on Thursday, 7th February 2019

Name of nominee ________   Signature of nominee ____________
Student’s name __________   Student’s form __________________

Proposed by _____________  Signature of Proposer ___________
Student’s name ___________  Student’s form__________________

Seconded by _____________   Signature of Seconder ___________
Student’s name ___________  Student’s form __________________

PARENT GOVERNOR ELECTION

Year 9 Careers Inspiration Fair, Thursday 14th February, 3.45pm-5.15pm, (main site)

Dear Parent/Carer,

We would like to invite you and your daughter to a Year 9 Careers Inspiration Fair on Thursday 14th February. There will be a number of employers from a range of sectors including ICT, Engineering, Law, Media, Performing Arts and Architecture, who will be available to talk to students about their job roles and the industries they work in.  The employers will also answer questions about their different career paths and the skills and qualifications needed in their industry.

The purpose of the evening is to:

  • Raise student awareness about different careers and entry routes to those careers
  • Inspire students to develop new skills and interests
  • Help students make informed decisions on which GCSE options to pick based on potential careers they are interested in

Pastoral and Senior Staff will be supporting the event alongside the school’s Independent Careers Advisers Mr Jackson and Ms Kenneth to offer advice and guidance for students and parents.

Over the years we have found this event to be extremely useful when it comes to your daughter making her GCSE subject choices. It also serves as a great opportunity to engage in careers discussion with your daughter.

We would like all students to attend this event with their parents, however, if this is not possible please ensure your daughter comes independently. I hope you will be able to take advantage of this exciting opportunity. The amount of time you spend at the evening depends on how many professionals your daughter wants to talk to. I would encourage that they speak to as many professionals as possible. Nearer the event date your daughter will be provided with a mini resource pack to help direct conversations and allow students to complete some independent research prior to the event.

Please return the reply slip below no later than Friday 25th January to confirm your attendance. Please can I also ask you to indicate the time frame you will be likely to visit on the slip below. Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions.

Yours faithfully,

Ms F. Congdon    

Assistant Head Teacher – Careers

———————————————————————————————————————————————————-

Reply slip for Year 9 Careers Inspiration Fair Thursday 14th February 3.45-5.15pm in the Maths corridor

Student Name: ______________________________________________________     Form: _________________

Please tick the appropriate statement:

  • My daughter will be attending this event and I (Parent/Carer) will be accompanying her _______
  • My daughter will be attending this event on her own ______

 

Please circle likely time of arrival:  

3.45 – 4.15pm                         4.15 – 4.45pm                       4.45pm – 5.15pm

Signed (Parent/Carer) __________________________________________

Please return this slip to your daughters Form Tutor by January 25th.

Year 9 Careers Inspiration Fair, Thursday 14th Feb, 3.45 – 5.15pm

Key Stage 4 Curriculum Choices – Year 9 Options

Dear Parent/Carer,

Over the next two months, your daughter will receive information about the curriculum choices available to students at St Marylebone in Key Stage 4.  The National Curriculum allows a certain amount of choice within a broad and balanced curriculum.  There will be opportunities for both you and your daughter to discuss options choices with Teaching Staff, Senior Staff and our Independent Careers Advisers.

In conjunction with the above you will also receive information about the GCSE 1-9 assessment measures that came into effect in September 2016.

As part of our GCSE options and guidance process we will be holding a Careers Inspiration Fair on the 14th February 2019 for students to attend with their parents. Professionals from many different industries will be present in school to talk to students about future career pathways and the industries they work in. The purpose of this evening is to provide students with the opportunity to start thinking about where their skills and interests lie and what career pathways they may be interested in following. This preparation will help focus students on picking the option choices that match up to their future interests. Further information about this event can be found on the reverse of this letter.

Please see below the key dates of the options process and how the school is supporting your daughter in choosing her GCSE options.

Throughout January  Student meetings with Independent Careers Advisers
Monday 28th January Year 9 Parents Evening 4.00pm-6.30pm at Blandford Street
Monday 4th February Y9 GCSE Options Assembly – Options process explained and options booklet given to students
Thursday 14th February Careers Inspiration Fair 3.45pm – 5.15pm (main site)
Thursday 7th March Options carousel for Year 9 students during periods 5 & 6
Thursday 7th March Options evening for Year 9 students and parents/carers 5.00pm – 7.00pm (main site)
Monday 18th  –  Thursday 22nd March     Y10 students visit Y9 tutor groups to provide student perspective on GCSE study
Monday 25th March – Friday 29th March Interviews with senior member of staff, parents welcome to attend. Students finalise GCSE  option choices and hand in their signed options form

If you have any queries please do not hesitate to contact me:  s.george@stmaryleboneschool.co.uk. I look forward to seeing you at the careers and options evenings,

Yours faithfully,

Ms S. George

Assistant Headteacher – Curriculum

LETTER REGARDING THE BIOMETRIC CASHLESS CATERING

Monday 21st May 2018

Dear Parent or Carer,

We will soon be installing a biometric cashless catering system at school. This system will enable pupils to pay for meals in school by presenting their fingerprint rather than carrying cash.

In line with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), we have included a consent form with this letter about the implementation of this. It explains how we would obtain and use your daughter or son’s fingerprint (otherwise known as “biometric information”). Please read this carefully, and return the reply slip if you agree to the school processing your child’s biometric information. Biometric registration will take place on Monday 18th and Tuesday 19th June.

Going forwards, students’ catering accounts will be topped-up via Parentpay. Please log on to Parentpay in the normal way, and select the “School Meals” payment item. It will be possible to view your child’s menu choices, and to set up email notifications alerting you when your child’s balance falls below an amount of your choosing. Please visit the communication page on your Parentpay account to organise this. The system will reduce the loss of cash carried by pupils, and give parents/carers oversight of how their child spends money in school. It will enable a faster food service, and mean that pupils receiving Free School Meals will no longer need to collect a token from reception.

The school has set a maximum daily spend limit of £5.00. If you would like to amend this, please contact the finance department by emailing j.ansell@stmaryleboneschool.com.

If your child benefits from Free School Meals, the value of this will be added to your child’s account at noon each day, ready for the start of lunch service. For more information on Free School Meals eligibility, please contact Ms Swan: s.swan@stmaryleboneschool.com.

We are keen to provide an opportunity for parents and carers to find out more about this system and ask any questions they may have. As such, we will be holding an information evening on Thursday 7th June. This will be a drop-in session between 6-7pm in the theatre on the Marylebone High Street site.

If you would like more information, or the chance to discuss this further, please contact Jennifer Ansell, Finance Manager: j.ansell@stmaryleboneschool.com.

The cashless catering system will go live on Monday 25th June, and no cash will be accepted at the tills from this date. If you have not given consent for your child’s fingerprint to be used for this purpose, we will talk with you about a reasonable alternative. We will of course also be informing the students about this.

Yours faithfully,

Ms S Anderson, Assistant Headteacher

Ms J Ansell, Finance Manager

 

IMPORTANT NOTES FOR PARENTS ON CASHLESS CATERING SYSTEM & CONSENT FORM FOR USE OF BIOMETRIC INFORMATION IN SCHOOL

Letter regarding the rearranged date for year 9 Options Evening

1st March 2018

Dear Year 9 Parents and Carers,

 

Re-arranged: Options Evening, Monday 5th March 4-6pm

Please note: this will be at our Blandford Street Sixth-Form site.

 

On Monday, 5th March, 4-6pm, you and your daughters are invited into school for the Options Evening at the School’s Blandford Street site. During this time you will have the opportunity to speak to Heads of Learning and subject staff. There will also be a talk for parents and carers about the KS4 Options process.

Please attend either the first talk at ​4.15pm or the second talk at 5pm. The evening will finish at 6pm. ​Please read through the Options Booklet with your daughter before this important evening. If you have any questions, please come and speak to me at the Options Evening or email me: s.george@stmaryleboneschool.com.

I look forward to seeing you at the Options Evening next week.

 

Yours faithfully,

Ms S. George

Assistant Headteacher: Curriculum