We are very sad to announce the passing away on Sunday of our very highly regarded colleague, Mr Jim Cleaver.
Being asked to take on a new school is something that comes with great responsibility.
A lot of work goes on behind the scenes consulting with parents, stakeholders, communities, future staff and anyone who is directly involved in what a new school needs.
I write this as we embark on a Section 10 Consultation into our plans for the new Sir Bobby Robson School in Ipswich.
The questionnaire and public consultation evening are a great chance to gauge responses and look at how best we can shape what is currently an empty site, but what will next year be a school for youngsters with social, emotional and mental health needs.
As with our Ofsted-outstanding Churchill Academy in Haverhill, the overarching vision for the Sir Bobby Robson School is to provide individualised support for all students and prepare them to become successful independent adults that make a positive contribution to their community.
It is not something that we take lightly, and the final result – when we first open our doors to students next September - will not only be a school befitting the needs of all.
It will also be a result of partnership-working at its best.
This is the same for all our schools across the Unity Schools Partnership.
We cannot do it on our own and we wouldn’t want to.
We started the new school year by welcoming three new headteachers to the trust.
All three have spoken about the importance of having support from staff and pupils, but also from families and the wider community.
A school is one of the most important, if not the most important, parts of any community.
Again, that comes with great responsibility.
But it is something every school and school leader should relish. I know all our schools do.
We also welcomed two new schools to the trust. All schools have challenges, but, equally, all schools possess huge potential.
It is our job to support these schools to realise their potential and bring about success for all.
All our schools share the same values, face similar issues and are geographically close enough to support and challenge each other.
We recognise the unique characteristics of each of the communities we work in.
Our model is about creating inter-dependence. Schools that more self-sustaining than stand-alone academies, less dependent than local authority schools and more independent than schools in corporate chains.
We look forward to working with new member schools and educational partners and building new schools to create new dreams and aspirations.
If you would like to know more about the Sir Bobby Robson School in Ipswich, please visit http://www.sirbobbyrobsonschool.co.uk/.