Looking ahead to an exciting new future
I hope that by now you will have seen the announcement that Truro High School has joined the Methodist Independent Schools Trust (MIST). This announcement represents the culmination of six months’ work undertaken by various members of staff and by our Governors. The first meetings with MIST representatives took place in May and June. During this period, Governors looked closely at what MIST was able to offer and compared this with what other schools groups could provide.
The aim in joining a schools group was to ensure that Truro High School could continue to thrive and flourish in the long term. There were various options open to the School. Broadly, groups fall into two categories: for-profit and charitable. We were adamant that we did not wish to join a for-profit group, where the bottom line and shareholders would override decisions about the quality of the education. Amongst the charitable groups, it was felt that MIST provided the best fit, having an ethos which is similar to our own. Anglicanism and Methodism do work happily and co-operatively side-by-side in the modern world and so the different denominations did not prove a challenge or an impediment. It has always been understood by both sides that the School will maintain its Church of England status – indeed, we remain the sole Church of England secondary school in Cornwall (though there is the Five Islands School on the Isles of Scilly).
In my ‘pitch’ to the MIST trustees on 19 November I explained the strengths of the School by referring to three phrases which are central to what we do here and to who we are.
First, there is our school motto, luce magistra, which I usually translate as ‘with my teacher as my light’. I believe this points to the strong relationships which exist between staff and pupils in our School and to the high quality of education we provide. I intend us to build on the excellent foundation that already exists and our vision for 2020, the School’s 140th anniversary, is for Truro High School to become a national leader in girls’ independent education. In addition we will work towards a number of key goals including establishing a national reputation for promoting STEM subjects and careers for girls.
Secondly, there is the phrase which so often sits next to our school name and school crest: Girls First. This highlights for me the real strength of a girls’ school. In short, in a girls’ school girls have all the opportunities – they believe and they know they can do anything and everything.
Finally, there is our ‘strap line’, for want of a better phrase: Happy Girls Achieve. This, to me, illustrates what makes the School unique and special. It encapsulates the ethos, which is one of ‘work hard, play hard’. Girls at Truro High School enjoy their time here and they make the most of it.
As the negotiations with MIST developed it became obvious that it would be best to launch our strategic plan hand-in-hand with an announcement that we had joined the group. It is for this reason that we delayed the plan a bit longer than we might have otherwise. The plan is ambitious and sets a clear direction for the School over the coming five years. It is backed up by a long list of key performance indicators, which will allow the Governors to monitor the progress and success of the Senior Leadership Team and others in implementing its aims. I am very excited about it and have in recent months already started to move forward a number of strands. If you haven’t yet seen the Strategic Plan 2015 please do take a look here.
I have said for some time that I believe Truro High School has a very bright future and I think that by joining MIST and through the publication of our strategic plan we have proved that this is the case. We are absolutely determined to build the pupil roll over the next five years. We are a school with a unique culture and a special place within Cornish education and we aim to thrive and flourish over the next 135 years, as we have over the first 135 years of our history.
This is an amazing place and I am looking forward to the exciting journey ahead.