As I am sure many of you are aware, I am leaving Haslingden High School at the end of this term. I have worked in education for 36 years, in five different schools within Lancashire, with the last ten as headteacher at our school. I often say at the transition evening for our new Year 7 students how quickly their time at school will pass and it doesn’t seem five minutes since I started as a young, dynamic (hard to believe, I know) maths teacher at Habergham High School in Burnley.
My time at Haslingden High School has not been without its challenges, but I can honestly say it has been hugely enjoyable and professionally very rewarding. I am in no doubt that we have a school of which we can be proud, providing our students with high academic standards coupled with a wide range of opportunities for them to grow and develop holistically, and pursue their interests and aptitudes, whatever they may be. I am fortunate to have worked with a highly motivated, talented and committed staff who work exceptionally hard to provide the very best for your children. I firmly believe our staff are second to none!
I have been equally fortunate to have worked with our school governors, who make sure the school is well supported, but I am accountable for the quality of provision for all members of our school community and they make sure we are always looking to improve. This hard-working, highly effective group of volunteers have been led by John Davey, our chair of governors, who has been a school governor for the past 30 years, over 20 as the chair. I am very grateful to him for his incredibly loyal service over that time, in particular the last ten. We hold a shared vision about what a great school should look like and his determination to provide the very best for every student has made a real difference to our school.
A huge thank you to our parents, past and present, who have always been understanding, fair-minded and supportive about what we are trying to achieve and the challenges of running a large secondary school. I have said on many occasions that the real test of a school is when things don’t always run smoothly and there are problems that need to be resolved. At Haslingden High School we will always work exceptionally hard and try our very best to resolve these difficulties as we seek to provide a welcoming, open and accessible school where parents and students feel valued and listened to. This partnership and open, honest dialogue are a cornerstone of our school and contribute to the high standards we expect in all aspects of school life. Whilst we may not always agree (though the vast majority of times we do!), I have been very appreciative of the support from parents and carers throughout my time at the school – thank you.
I am sure that the part of my job I will miss the most is engaging with our young people. There is no doubt that growing up in today’s complex, often social media-driven world is becoming increasingly more challenging and many young people make mistakes as they do. One of our key roles in school is to make sure they learn from these mistakes and develop into the well-rounded, well educated, confident citizens that most of our students do very successfully. I will undoubtedly miss their good manners, polite comments, thoughtfulness, kindness, positivity, good humour and their determination to succeed. They play a very significant part in ensuring Haslingden High School is a great place for students to learn and colleagues to work. It has been an absolute privilege to be their headteacher
I leave the school in the knowledge that it is in very safe hands; Mr Clarke will be the headteacher in September and of course he knows the school very well. He is an exceptional leader with all the right personal qualities to take the school forward and ensure our students are well prepared for life in a very uncertain, rapidly changing world. I have no doubt the school will flourish under his leadership.
Finally, I would like to send you my very best wishes for a happy, healthy and successful future and thank you sincerely for your support over the years.
Very best wishes
Mark Jackson, Headteacher