In awe of students despite lack of support from county

Duchess's High School prizegiving.
Duchess's High School prizegiving.

A headteacher has said he is ‘in awe of young people’ despite a ‘disjointed, poorly-led, county system’.

At the annual Duchess’s Community High School prizegiving on Friday, Maurice Hall praised students for their continued determination to ‘be who they want to be’.

But he said that despite 10 years in the post, changes in both political colour and senior officer personalities at County Hall have ‘done little to provide in respect of strategic intent or vision’.

“It is always a concern in any democracy (whether it be county or country) when our children become pawns in a political debate about educational standards,” he said.

“My simple statement to all of this is that I remain in awe of our young people and the desire that exists amongst the majority to aspire to ‘who you want to be’ both in personality and in academic terms.

“Many of the challenges they have are very different to the challenges that many of us had at their age.

“The pace of life is so much quicker, decisions to be made are so much more complex.

“On a day-to-day basis they remind us as school staff, parents, and representatives from the local community, why we want our school to provide an outstanding experience for all of them.”

Mr Hall added that as the new-build high school is ontrack and links and relationships are being developed with other schools and colleges in the North East, he has set a deadline of two years in which DCHS should become ‘genuinely outstanding’.

During the last 10 years Mr Hall has seen nearly 3,000 pupils go through the school and their achievements have imrpoved tremendously.

Mr Hall also spoke about his autistic son, George, 14, for whom he tried to get extra resources and funding to support his education locally, but that was not to be.

He said: “If we are genuinely wanting fairer access to our education system for anydisadvantaged child and their parents there has to be a better funding regime so resources can be more equitably distributed so the local school and the local community can work better toresolve these problems.”