As Headteacher I am excited about working with the students, staff, parents and the local community to ensure that all the students who attend Longdean receive this and leave equipped with the qualifications and skills they need to succeed throughout their lives.
The world that students will enter into when they leave school is very different to the one that I entered when I completed my education. The job market is increasingly global with the majority of jobs no longer being provided locally or nationally. By 2020 most employment opportunities will be in Europe or increasingly in Asia. Young people will no longer remain in a job for life and they are likely to have experienced 10 different employers before the age of 40. Many of these newly created jobs will also require the incumbent to have qualifications to degree level or equivalent.
I believe that to respond to this context schools have an obligation to ensure that students leave school with the qualifications they need to have control over the next steps in their lives. Equally, schools need to develop in students the skills they will need to learn new things everyday, to tackle and overcome challenges, to survive outside of their comfort zone and be able to contribute to the rapidly changing communities that they are an integral part of. Young people today must be literate, numerate, emotionally intelligent resilient and creative enough to cope with an ever changing society.
Whilst it is the job of schools to develop these attributes in young people, they will only have limited success if they are working in isolation. Students themselves have a responsibility to learn something new, engage in activities that challenge them and to contribute to the wider community. Parents need to work alongside the school in reinforcing the importance of these skills and developing them in their children. They can do this by ensuring their children attend school regularly, on time and by attending events linked to their child’s education. The wider community can also offer something by informing schools about both the positive and negative contributions of young people, or by providing opportunities for them.
At Longdean we already do lots to instill these core skills and attributes in the students who attend. I look forward to continuing this and ensuring that we continue to strive for excellence in all that we do for the benefit of the students who come here.