St John Plessington Catholic College

Message from the Head Teacher, Simon Rylance 13-Jul-20

Dear Parents and Carers

It is with a heavy heart that I write my letter of farewell to you as I take up retirement at the end of this week. I joined SJP in 2001 and of course have seen it change, grow and develop into a brilliant school over a sustained period. It has done so as a result of the commitment and dedication of all the staff here, over time, who bought into a vision that had children at the forefront. I’ve never ceased to be amazed at how staff here have continually gone the extra mile and made massive sacrifices. It is this commitment which is behind SJP’s unique success.

It has been a real privilege to be Head Teacher over the past 18 months. With the help and support of a determined staff and of course with the trust you placed in us we have moved the school forward and coped well with all the extra demands the covid crisis has placed on all of us. The spirit and morale among the staff has never been higher and we have very little turnover for September which will cement the stability we are now enjoying. I want to thank the staff on your behalf for the way they have supported your children during these unprecedented times.  From September, the school will be in the very capable hands of Mrs. Sharratt my current Deputy and the school will continue to evolve and build on the structures and systems that lie at the heart of what you have come to expect. She will write to you in the next day or so to give you clear details of the plans for the return of all pupils in September.

I will take so many happy memories with me and it is a real wrench saying goodbye. The school has been a big part of my life and I am so proud of everything that SJP has achieved. I will miss the day to day interactions with pupils and staff and the hustle and bustle of school life. It is certainly a unique ending but when the new normal returns I’m sure SJP will continue to serve your children in the way it has. Thank you for the way you have supported your children and ourselves during this period. I’m sure that everyone appreciates even more the value and importance of education on children’s lives and that when SJP re-opens we will have learnt important lessons from the whole crisis. I’m sure our pupils will return determined to do well and to make the most of their one chance of education.

I also want to thank three staff who like me are joining the ‘Retirement’ club. Ms Thompson in DT who joined the school in 1990, Mr Harrison who has been here for 28 years and Mr Dolan for 18 years. A big thanks to them for their many years of dedicated service. We also say goodbye to Ms Bedke and Ms Walsh who have also served the school over a significant period.

It has been a pleasure and I wish all of you and your families the very best for your future journey.

Simon Rylance

Head Teacher