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Chairman's Letter

My fourth year at the helm of the Governing Body begins on 7th September, and I am looking forward to it enormously.

A warm welcome to all those who are starting at Judd this term for the first time, whether in Year 7 or in the 6th Form, as well as all new teaching and non-teaching staff. You are not alone; there is much that is new to the School this year; not least of which is the start of a new era under the new Headmaster, Jon Wood. He needs little introduction, but on behalf of the Governing Body I would like to wish him every success in his new job. We are also delighted to welcome our new Deputy Head, Karen Eamens, who starts this term.

Having enjoyed the moderate distraction of serving as Master of the Skinners’ Company last year, I was fortunate enough to be invited to attend events at all seven of the Company’s schools*. It was fascinating to compare and contrast, as well as learn different ways of doing things; alternative solutions to similar problems.  I was also keen to understand more about the relationship they all have with the Skinners’ Company itself. I don’t have that distraction this year but I have learned a lot and hope to be able to put it to good use on behalf of The Judd School.

The School continues to impress and surprise on all fronts. No sooner have we finished digesting the pleasing exam results, than we turn our attention to the new term. The Governing Body will not allow the School to sit on its laurels, but it is proud and happy to pass on a hearty congratulations to all students in delivering a really strong set of results at both A and GCSE level.

We are delighted to welcome three new Governors who formally join the Governing Body this term; Bill Webb, Lucinda Ball and Luke Rajah. All three have been recruited from within the Skinners’ Company and have relevant experience of Judd or in education generally. The process of ‘renewal’ is constant and I am happy to report that the broad mix of skills on the Governing Body today bodes well for the challenges that inevitably lie ahead.

One of the challenges remains that of funding. We are constantly facing the reality of matching the high expectations of all concerned with Judd to the inconvenient truth that, without proper oversight, our costs could exceed our income. As a State school we are not allowed to run a budget deficit, which makes for some difficult Governor meetings. Our objective is to preserve all that is good about The Judd School, to trim our sails according to the current financial constraints, and above all provide an educational offering that matches the great tradition of the School in all aspects.

To be successful today we must also rely on the continued support of the parents. Your involvement at whatever level is of paramount importance to this school’s growth.  We recognize the need more than ever to communicate regularly and efficiently.  To that end I hope the new website is helpful. Support can mean many things, but it is not just about money.  We live in a time-poor age filled with multiple distractions, so many of which appear preferable in the minds of teenagers to the demands of academic study and the pressure to achieve. Your role, as well as that of the teaching staff, the support staff and the Governing Body are key to providing that balanced, all round education that we all seek for our students.

The opportunities at Judd are many and the facilities continue to expand and modernize.  This year will see the new Ashton Building come into its own, not only with the wonderful new Biology department, but also as the new dining facilities reach their optimum capacity. And for all sports fans, the first full year of Vizards will provide more opportunity for students to participate than ever before.

Whether in the class room or on the touch line it promises to be a busy year!

James Leahy

Chairman of Governors

*The Skinners’ Company founded The Judd School in 1888