Kay Wood’s column in the Oxford Mail and The Oxford Times

As promised, here is head Kay Wood’s article from The Oxford Times and Oxford Mail…

All children deserve an outstanding education. They deserve to attend an excellent local school of their choice with their friends where they, and their parents, can be confident that they will receive the very best start in life.

I am therefore absolutely delighted that The Swan School was given planning permission last Monday.

It means that we can get started with the vital work need to plan a first-class school that the whole city can be proud of, and I now plan to throw myself into getting everything ready in time for next September’s opening.

That was part of the attraction of being the headteacher of a new school – the ability to shape every aspect of the place and ensure that it is the best it possibly can be.

A decade working in London, in some of the best state schools in the country, has been inspirational.

I am looking forward to applying what I have learned to ensure that students leave The Swan School having achieved more than they ever believed possible, and with the qualifications, skills, and confidence to achieve even more in the future.

This is something that will be cherished, not just by the students at The Swan School and their families, but by the Marston community and wider city of Oxford.

Last Monday’s decision means the River Learning Trust and I can really get on with the work on the finer points of the curriculum, the hiring of great staff and all the other exciting aspects of starting a new school.

Most excitingly, we can now start to meet and get to know some of the children and families who will form our founding cohort.

Last Thursday I had the pleasure of meeting lots of parents who are looking to send their children to The Swan School at our open evening. It was wonderful, especially after the uncertainty of the last month or so. Many of them had already applied to The Swan. Others said they were about to do so.

Applying to The Swan School couldn’t be simpler – families apply to The Swan, the details will shortly be on our website, and also to any other secondary school in the city using the usual Oxfordshire county council form.  In the spring you will be allocated a place at one of the existing schools and also find out of you have been offered a place at The Swan.

If you are allocated a place at The Swan, you then have a choice about which school to pick as you will be holding the offer of two places.

The way the application process works this year, you really don’t have anything to lose by applying.

You can find plenty more information about what we will be offering on our website (theswanschool.org.uk) and we will be hosting further open event in the spring to share news about our temporary site and new teachers.

It is obviously all very positive, and certainly this is an exciting time. It is also really important that we get on and start the building process as soon as possible now this decision has been made.

That wouldn’t be fair to the children looking to move from the temporary accommodation to the permanent new buildings in 2020.Be assured that we have listened to and understood the genuine traffic concerns of local people in Marston.  They are absolutely not concerns that I take lightly.

We want to be at the heart of the Marston community, and a really positive addition to the local area; for those that have raised concerns we hope we can now work together to make this a reality and the school a great success – not just for us but for the generations of young people that will benefit from the school.