A profile of Moseley’s Headteachers
MAJOR ERNEST H. ROBINSON
The recruitment of Moseley's teaching staff was initiated by the appointment of Ernest H. Robinson as Headmaster, from a field of 214 applicants. Mr - or rather Major Robinson had gained a modern languages degree and a teaching qualification at Cambridge University and, at 33, had taught for just six years at a Nottinghamshire grammar school. This period had been interrupted by four and a half years' distinguished war service in the Shropshire Light Infantry, for which he had been awarded the Distinguished Service Order and Military Cross. Moseley folklore later had it that the appointing committee, impressed that 'the little blighter practically held up the German Army on his own', chose him because 'if he could command soldiers in battle, four or five hundred boys should not be beyond him'. His starting salary was £650 pa.
Mr Robinson was appointed in July 1923; Moseley Secondary School opened on 11th September later that year. Not surprisingly, it was far from ready and on the first morning, 'hardly any preparations had been made. Most of the rooms were bare and thick with dust, and those in the tower were in an unbelievable state, having been used by generations of pigeons and crows as nesting places.'
One of the original masters recalled 'our first staff meeting in a room with an empty packing-case for our only furniture, and an inch and a half of black fluffy dust on the floor. On that first day there were no pens, paper, ink and books on the desks for the pupils.' A handbell summoned 99 boys in from the school field or rather from the trees which they had been climbing - and they were greeted in the library before being sent home for three weeks while the staff did their best to get part of the building ready.
The school which was built and shaped under Mr Robinson established an impressive record of achievement and a fine reputation in the City of Birmingham. Mr Robinson, perhaps selected for the organisational and personal skills had demonstrated so effectively in his war service - proved to be a fine leader. He was resilient, calm, cheerful and unfailingly courteous. A good listener with a formidable memory, he stored away details about all his boys and staff so that he could always greet them in a friendly fashion. He believed strongly in teamwork, co-operation and loyalty, and his discretion and absence of favouritism were said to have imbued the whole staff with a sense of security.
Mr Robinson suffered an extended illness during 1951-2. He was in his sixties by then and his impeding retirement prompted several other members of senior members of staff, Deputy Head Mr Hughes and Senior English Master Mr Keyte, to close their careers after thirty years each at Moseley. It was the end of an era.
At the farewell dinner given to our first headmaster, not a single chair was empty. If other schools can show this unanimity, they are as fortunate as they are few.
Source: Moseley in the Millennium, The Moseleian and John Sheppard for his personal reminiscences.
Mrs Eileen Cohen
Miss Eileen Cohen was appointed head of College Road Senior School in 1952 to implement the transition, in 1955 to a new purpose built secondary Modern School, which had been built on the site formerly used as playing fields by King Edward's Camp Hill. On 20th July 1955 the Senior School closed, 'a day early because of packing of books for transfer' and the next morning staff and 40 children assembled in school ready for moving.
Miss Cohen had a very clear vision of the kind of school she wanted and put her views with equal firmness whether dealing with pupils in school or explaining the school's requirements to the Chief Education Officer. She represented the school and the city on a number of educational bodies and was considered a formidable figure. A former colleague comments that 'Miss Cohen gave such a clear lead and had such a strong personality that punishment was not much needed'. He recalls her stubbing out her cigarette and marching out of her smoke-filled study to berate a group of boys who had been caught smoking!
The General Inspection Report of 1959 refers to the way 'her warm and generous personality pervades the school' and describes her as a 'good leader and organiser'. Her commitment to the school was total; she frequently worked in school for weeks of the summer holiday and returned to school from hospital on one occasion 'unofficially' with her leg in plaster and 'forbidden to put it to the ground'.
The style was traditional; there was a uniform and a school badge, houses and prefects and strict discipline. Mrs Margaret Yarnall (nee Brown) was one of the pupils chosen to help with the move to the new school. She remembers 'you were not allowed to run anywhere on the premises and ... you were not allowed to even talk as you walked across the main entrance'. Assembly took place first thing every morning and 'if anything upset the Head we were all back there after school to do the whole thing again'. She agrees that relatively little punishment was needed as 'staff and pupils were all proud of their new school' and 'the atmosphere was a very happy one'. Corporal punishment continued to be used, albeit sparingly, until 1971. Most instances of caning were for smoking and truancy in the early years; later the cane was used for 'disobedience' and 'insolence'.
Under her leadership, academically the school did well being one of, if not the first, Secondary Modern School in the country to offer 'O' and 'A' level courses. By the time Miss Cohen, (then Mrs North), retired in 1967, thing were beginning to change and the question of comprehensive schools had become a political issue.
Source: Moseley into the Millennium
Mr D Bruce Gaskin
Mr D.B. Gaskin had been head of Henry Thornton Grammar School in London for six years before taking over as head of Moseley Grammar School in 1956. He had been educated at Liverpool College where he won an open scholarship to read history at Oxford. He was a keen sportsman and had played tennis for Shropshire.
He brought with him a young family for whom the main shock was not living in a boys' school but moving from a normal house into 15 large and freezing rooms. The school's central heating had not been extended to the Headmasters House, which was the only one of its kind in the city. This situation continued for seven years until a large deputation from the Architects Department visited the school in the bitter winter of 1962 to draw up plans for a new science block, and, as it later emerged, a new school. Mrs Gaskin kindly offered them coffee. The visitors politely declined to remove their overcoats as their coffee turned stone-cold, their hands went numb and their breath froze in the air; the following week engineers arrived to measure up for central heating.
Mr Gaskin took over a school with much in its favour. However there were important changes to be made. The 1956 examination results showed barely 20 per cent of pupils (all of them selected by the 11-plus) gaining five or more GCEs. Such a statistic today would certainly bring the wrath of OFSTED down on the school! Mr J.L. Sheppard who had been a pupil at the school from 1937 to 1943 and returned in 1956 as a teacher, was in a position to comment that 'Mr Gaskin was a much more "hands on" Head than his his predecessor' which was necessary in order to raise standards of achievement. The increasing success in terms of examination results, first choice entrants and public regard over the years was due to staff as well as the Head but Mr Gaskin was the catalyst'. So what exactly changed? Certainly the academic side of school life was given a higher profile. The most visible innovation was the school's first ever Speech Day and Prize Giving held in September 1956.
Mr Gaskin also introduced separate Junior and Senior Schools each with their own Head and accommodation. He introduced new competitions alongside the traditional sporting ones as well as a junior magazine and a Festival of Arts. Many innovations were ahead of their time but would appear familiar to teachers and pupils today. Each boy was issued with an individual record book for homework and assessment and each class had a form diary recording effort and behaviour in every lesson.
From 1961 the school filled the Town Hall each year for Speech Day. Mr Gaskin's address attracted increasing media attention as his, and the school's, reputation grew. He used the occasion to report in detail on the full range of achievements of groups and individuals but also to comment forcefully on current educational issues, as in 1962 when he attacked the failure to provide more university and college places as 'not only disastrously short-sighted, but also a betrayal of the legitimate hopes and ambitions of some of the best of our young people'. In 1966 he took issue with a report claiming that public schools did better than maintained ones by proving that Moseley Grammar School actually outperformed them all.
By 1959 the number of boys obtaining five or more GCEs had risen to 50 per cent. Mr Gaskin introduced other changes more gradually. The aims of the curriculum were now to provide 'equal opportunities for the more gifted and the less' and to devise a five-year course that was 'complete in itself, an adequate preparation for earning a living but also a foundation for good citizenship'. This embodied his belief that those who did not go on to A Levels and university were of equal value, an approach further illustrated by the subsequent phasing out of rigid streaming. Years 1 and 2 were taught in 'equal ability classes' moving on into broad ability bands before being 'set' for some subjects at GCE level. In the late 1950s and early 1960s these were unusual measures for a grammar school to take. Several new subjects were introduced throughout the school, such as Spanish, Russian and Technical Drawing, but the biggest change was to the Sixth Form curriculum. The trend towards increasing specialisation was countered and the rigid separation between arts and sciences. The cane was then the main disciplinary sanction in almost all schools. Mr Gaskin made it clear that he not did support corporal punishment but allowed a few senior colleagues to use the cane for a transitional period. As it was phased out, with no deterioration in the orderliness of the school, the consensus among the boys was that a quick caning would have been preferable to the Head's favoured approach - an in-depth discussion in his office of their motives, their behaviour and its consequences was broken down. General Studies, Music and Art Appreciation, Current Affairs, PE and Games were taken by all, as were practical periods of either Art or Handicraft. Scientists had a period of English Literature and of Russian and linguists had to do some General Science. All this reflected the Head's own breadth of learning. Other changes had less predictable results.
The school was in serious need of redecoration and work was begun in the first summer holiday. When the staff entered the hall for the first assembly of the new school year, they found a sea of upturned faces - engaged not in divine adoration, but in close study of the naked nymphs on the ceiling which had been previously hidden by years of accumulated dirt and were now picked out in two tasteful colours!
As the sixties wore on a School Council was formed and, more unusually, the Head implemented its recommendations. At Speech Days for prizes for a few were replaced with certificates for many, rigid uniform rules were relaxed and many potential problems resolved by negotiation. In fact, Moseley and its liberal Head were frequently quoted in the local press as other schools hit the headlines in disputes over the length of hair, the wearing of caps or the pointedness of shoes!
The school's surroundings were changing fast. In the late 1950s the last remaining section of the Moseley Botanical Gardens between the school and College Road was sold for building. Known as the 'Dell', it was a favourite short cut for boys on their way home and still contained some fascinating relics of the Victorian pleasure garden it had once been. As it disappeared under the bricks and mortar of Pickwick Grove, the school itself only narrowly escaped demolition. A small boy using the shortcut home for lunch found some interesting looking objects left outside the workmen's hut and put them in his pocket. Within the hour the builders had notified the police that several sticks of gelignite, rejected because they had become unstable, had been stolen from the site. The school fell under suspicion and a whole-school assembly was immediately called. Mr Gaskin explained to a hushed hall that the material was extremely dangerous, could detonate at any moment and should not under any circumstances be touched. Whereupon, a small hand started waving something in the air and a voice said 'Sir! Sir! It's alright, Sir! It's here, Sir!'. Mr Gaskin walked slowly towards the speaker, took the sticks of gelignite and kept walking until he was well away from the building!
The first plans for the reorganisation of the city's schools along comprehensive lines appeared in the 1960s and it was obvious that the amalgamation of the two Moseley schools would feature in the plans. Mr Gaskin had been dissatisfied with the 11-plus for many years and was, unusually for a grammar school a strong supporter of comprehensive schools. This view came to be shared by many Moseley Grammar School staff. There was also a perception that Moseley Modern was a very successful school and that there was little to fear from amalgamation. Obviously not all staff shared this view and Mr Gaskin worked hard to prepare the ground for a successful amalgamation. As the plan went backwards and forwards, however, it was clear that time was running out and that he would be close to retiring age when the change finally took place. He felt that his successor should be in position in good time to make the key decisions. This did not in the event happen, but it was clear that he was leaving the school in very good shape and in the very capable hands of his former deputy Mr Derek Moore.
Source: Moseley in the Millennium
Mr Donald Wilford
Mr Donald Wilford's style (as Head of Moseley Modern School) as very different to his predecessor as indeed the changing educational climate required. He was a very intelligent, affable man with a ‘hands on’ approach and was always ‘out in the field’. Several members of staff who worked under him have commented on his tremendous commitment to helping pupils with problems (and their parents). The Log Book records long meetings, sometimes lasting all evening, spent trying to resolve the behaviour problems of certain pupils. One colleague remembers him 'taking the social misfits of the school under his wing' and liking nothing better than 'getting out on the play-ground and throwing a rugby ball around with some of the lads'. He hated red tape and senseless bureaucracy and ran a more informal school that his predecessor, encouraging and supporting staff initiatives. This friendly demeanour worked magically with that of John Lockwood’s, his deputy, creating a formidable team. His commitment to his staff was such that he even joined them on staff holidays to Spain. Outside the confines of Moseley Modern School Donald took part in community work in Walsall.
The curriculum continued to encourage most pupils to aim for at least six CSEs and/or 'O' Levels. The most able could take seven or eight and the least able between one and five. The sixth form offered 14 'A' Level subjects and 26 'O' Levels.
The school became more child-centred and began developing a formal pastoral system. These developments allowed the school to maintain its consistent academic record. In 1968 there were 750 CSE grades 1 and 2 and the 'A' Level results improved constantly. As a top sportsman, playing rugby and cricket, Donald’s great commitment to sporting and musical success was also remarkable; ten sporting trophies were won that same year and by the 1970's the school was running three choirs, a wind band, several music groups and a developing string section. At one point there were 67 sports teams! By this time the school was massively oversubscribed with lessons taking place in the most unusual places including cloakrooms, stockrooms, the stage and on one occasion, according to Brian Miles, even underneath the stage!
As the amalgamation of Moseley Modern and Moseley Grammar Schools grew closer he prepared the school for the coming changes and confidently expected to be appointed head of the new joint Moseley School, however this was not to be, and in 1974 he reluctantly left Moseley and was appointed Head of Yardleys School.
Source: Brian Miles and Moseley into the Millennium
Mr Derek Moore
Derek Moore was Deputy Head when Mr Gaskin retired and as the Local Authority had decided on re-organisation of the education system from 1974 Mr Moore was asked to act as Head to prepare for amalgamation and until permanent appointments could be made.
Teaching at Moseley Grammar School under Mr Gaskin had been challenging, rewarding and pleasurable, so it was not surprising that some members of staff and many parents had some misgivings about the radical changes proposed. However, most teachers realised that these changes were inevitable, and true professionals that they were, they set about preparing themselves to serve the interests of all the pupils who would make up the new school. Mr Moore refused to lend his name to those parents and others who opposed the changes, pointing out that the derogation of comprehensive education could only demoralise pupils, staff and parents of the new school.
For the next two years Derek Moore and his staff worked with Mr Wilford and his staff to prepare as best they could for the changeover in 1974.
Derek then moved to the Headship of Byng Kenrick Central School. He took retirement in 1986 and lived in Solihull where he enjoyed close contact with his family (three daughters and four grandchildren), some gardening, bridge, golf (occasionally with John Reid) and a little work - marking GCSE for Oxford and Cambridge Board until his death in October 2016. He was particularly pleased that so many former pupils of his play such an active part in supporting Moseley School.
Source: Derek Moore
Mr Alan Goodfellow
Mr Alan Goodfellow, who has gone on record as saying he was 'bitterly opposed' to the reorganisation became the first head of the amalgamated Moseley School having previously been head of Central Grammar School. He took on the role with visible reluctance as he would have preferred to of been appointed head of Central Byng Kenrick.
Despite this initial reluctance Mr Goodfellow is generally considered to have done an excellent job completing the smooth amalgamation which had been initially prepared by his predecessors. He quickly earned respect by tackling contentious issues head on and proved his ability to make decisions and solve problems. However, when, according to Brian Miles when he stressed that 'Heads of Departments and Heads of Year were in effect Company Executives and should work and behave as such,' several immediately applied for company cars!
Outside of school Alan was a keen member of the West Warwickshire Centre of the Caravan Club.
Mr Goodfellow's time at Moseley was, unfortunately, dogged by ill-health. He suffered a series of heart attacks and during his absences first Phil Bullock and then John Lockwood took over as Acting Heads. He died in February 1981.
Source: Brian Miles and Moseley into the Millennium
Philip Bullock & John Lockwood
During Alan Goodfellows prolonged periods of absence from Moseley, due to ill health, and then after his death in early May 1981, a Phil Bullock and John Lockwood consortium took on the role of acting headteacher
Firstly Phil Bullock was technically in charge, with John Lockwood soon taking the helm until David Swinfens arrival later in 1982.
Mr David Swinfen
When David Swinfen was appointed in 1982, John Lockwood took the opportunity to retire and Mrs Mary Miles was subsequently appointed as Deputy Head.
Mr Swinfen set about changing some of the more tradition aspects of Moseley but events took him in a different direction. The first was the change in the catchment area to exclude Hall Green and to include large areas of Sparkbrook. This was followed by wholesale changes in the state education system by Mrs Thatcher's government. During this time of significant change, Mr Swinfen led the introduction of the National Curriculum, GCSEs and school reform, which included schools becoming responsible for their own budgets. These were significant changes to the landscape of education and had a big impact on schools in Birmingham including Moseley.
In 1985, due to Mr Swinfen’s eagerness to improve facilities for the Sixth Form at Moseley, a survey was undertaken by the City Architect's Department which revealed major defects threatening the structure of the Victorian building, with the 'potential danger' of the possible collapse of the roof of the library. Urgent action was required and scaffolding suitable to support the building, tower and roof was erected.
The actual closure of the library occurred in a rather dramatic fashion, indeed an A level examination was taking place when Mr Swinfen and two architects came in, announcing that the library was to be closed forthwith. After some discussion the examination continued, and only when papers were handed in was the closure of the library executed. To his great disappointment Mr Swinfen's plans for an enhanced Sixth Form area were suspended, and other areas of the building were taken out of use.
In September 1987 Birmingham City Schools Sub-committee agreed to recommend that the school be demolished, rather than pay the £3.6M required to save it. This was despite it being a Grade II listed building. Such was the furore caused by this decision that just two weeks later the council backed down. However four years later there was still no positive action from the council and the buildings decay had become considerably worse.
In 1990-91 Mr Swinfen was seconded to serve as President of the Birmingham Association of the NUT during which time Mrs Mary Miles took over as Acting Head. In January 1991 David Swinfen returned to school but subsequently took early retirement due to ill health.
Source: Mary Miles and Moseley into the Millennium
Mrs Mary Miles
Having already been Acting Head, Mrs Mary Miles was confirmed as head teacher of Moseley School in December 1991, it proved to be a turning point in the school's fortunes. She brought vigour and energy to the job of restoring the fabric and reputation of Moseley and had a clear idea of how it was to be done. Following a ruthless assessment of the school's strengths and weaknesses, she laid down a clear direction for the school and set about achieving a much higher profile by attracting money and positive publicity.
No progress had been made in saving the old building however with the support of Tim Brighouse, the newly appointed Chief Education Officer things were starting to look up and the campaign to restore the building regained impetus. This was further increased by the 70th Anniversary reunion in 1993, organised on behalf of the school by Mrs Gaye Key, when the old building was briefly reopened for former pupils and staff to visit and a commemorative meal was held in the newly painted hall. In April 1995 the 'new' Moseleians Association formally came into being, its support having dwindled over the years with the decline of its rugby teams. The reunion created 'movement' in the campaign, which in turn led to a new feasibility study of the building showing that the building was not in the irreversible state the council claimed and that a more modest budget was required to restore it. Further impetus came when funding opportunities were identified from government and European programmes together with the new created lottery. Indeed so enthusiastic were the representative from the newly formed Heritage Lottery Fund that they proposed awarding more money than the school had asked for in order to landscape the grounds.
In 1996 Mary Miles was able to report in the Birmingham Post that £2.25M had been awarded by the Heritage Lottery Fund which when added to other funding provided a staggering £4.6M to the restoration fund. A partnership with Attock a local cricket team led to further funding from the Sport’s Lottery to rebuild the cricket pavilion and provide high quality nets and screens.
In 1995 Moseley received a resounding vote of confidence from the OFSTED inspection team and the school now had a clear sense of purpose, this was followed in 1999 by an OFSTED inspection that listed ‘Moseley as a very good school with outstanding leadership’.
Whilst the search for funding and restoration of the building was taking place, Moseley remained high profile in Birmingham, and through dedicated leadership, and the hard work of staff and pupils a number of National awards were achieved. The ‘Schools’ Curriculum Award’, ‘Investors in People’ British Diversity Award’ and it was the first school in Birmingham to gain the ‘Charter Mark’.
The success with the Heritage lottery was followed in 1997 by another award from the Sports Lottery for a Health and Fitness Centre and all weather pitch to be built on the east wing site adjoining the Sports Hall. This was unique at the time, in being a partnership with Birmingham Health Authority. It was followed by a partnership with Birmingham Social Services, enabling the disused Music suite to be renovated as a Young Carers Centre. These ventures were pathfinders to what became the ‘Every Child Matters’ agenda at a National level.
In 1999 a successful bid was made to the DFES for Moseley to become a Language College thus celebrating the diversity of its community. The school was now in a very strong position to continue as a flagship for Birmingham and Mrs. Mary Miles decided that it was time to retire and welcomed David Peck as the new headteacher.
Source: Moseley into the Millennium and Mary Miles
Mr David Peck
David Peck grew up in South East London then studied at the University of East Anglia (BSc Hons, Biological Sciences) and Sheffield University (PGCE, Science). He is married to Linda and has two daughters. During his time at Moseley the family home remained in Bristol with David spending the weekdays in Birmingham. Before coming to Moseley in 2001, David had previously taught at schools in Norwich, Kent and Bristol, teaching not only Science and the Sciences but also IT, PSHE, RE, Media Studies and English.
Outside education his interests include natural history, reading, writing, photography, football, cricket and world development.
When David first told friends and colleagues in Bristol of his departure for Birmingham he found that they divided into two camps; those who believed the city to be an undesirable choice and those who, being more familiar with it and its 'renaissance', envied him his good fortune. He was increasingly impressed by the perceptiveness of the latter group and found the city surprisingly green and attractive, the people invariably friendly and welcoming. Birmingham Local Education Authority, he felt, was held in high esteem and had a national reputation for innovation and school improvement. As an educationalist, committed to extending opportunities for young people, particularly in the inner cities, these things were important.
David has gone on record about the positive feelings he had for the school from the moment of his first visit. Pupils and staff were warm and welcoming: parents supportive and interested. After his first term he understood the special place that the people and buildings had in the lives of all those who had been part of the school. Over the next few years he wrote several articles for local and national press about the benefits of the relationship between the school and the Moseleians Association.
In his first years as Head Teacher David prioritised the growth and development of the school as a Language College. He was keen to celebrate the school’s success in the field of community languages and build on the school's reputation. Under his leadership, examination results continued to improve, ensuring more students progressed into Higher Education and success in the labour market. With Moseley's growing reputation for offering opportunities to the wider population David developed the concept of the school as the centre of a learning community. He believed that this benefits pupiIs through a process of positive feedback, an 'achievement snowball’ helping to build a community with a strong sense of self-esteem.
David recognised that Moseley School has a distinguished and interesting history and that the school had faced many challenges in the previous eighty years. He supported the Moseleians Association and was grateful for their part in keeping this history alive and helping to provide for the future through its continuing links with the school and the current generation of pupils.
David was under no illusions about the size of his task at Moseley, one of the biggest schools in Birmingham serving an area of serious deprivation. He recognised that a productive team could achieve far more than the sum of its parts and felt that the Moseleians were a strong element of the team, as well as providing valuable opportunities to ‘let ones hair down'.
David left Moseley School in 2008 and now works as CEO of the Curriculum Foundation, a not for profit organisation. Their purpose is to work with Education Ministries and schools world-wide to promote a dynamic curriculum that puts learners at its heart, that excites their imaginations, extends their horizons, meets their intellectual and personal needs and prepares them to be active citizens in a global society. Having been a Director since 2009, David was elected CEO in June 2013.
Source: Moseleian Gazette and David Peck
Mr Tim Boyes
Mr Tim Boyes was simultaneously head teacher at Queensbridge School and interim head at Moseley School. In September 2011 he returned full time to Queensbridge School
Mr Craig Jansen
Looking for my first headship I had considered a number of schools, some of which I had applied to. When I initially arrived to have a look round Moseley I immediately felt comfortable. The school simply felt right. I was impressed by the atmosphere and the friendliness of both staff and students. After all, they are what make a school. I also saw the challenges which the school faced, with its Ofsted Notice to Improve and the construction of a brand new learning centre. What mattered to me was whether my particular skill set matched the needs of the school I immediately felt that my past experiences and the educational challenges in which I had succeeded in the past would enable me to take Moseley School forward and to make a difference, particularly to young people.
Although each school has its own character there is very little difference between leading a Church of England School, a private school or a large ethnically diverse school such as Moseley. Children are the same wherever they are. The challenge is to give each and every child a positive learning experience and to ensure that they make good progress in every lesson and with every teacher. Moseley has a rich and positive mix of students from a variety of ethnic and cultural backgrounds. There are, of course, challenges in ensuring that students from overseas are made to feel welcome within the school. Literacy is a challenge for this school because, as in many other schools, some of our students come from a background where English is an additional language. This can create difficulties for them within the curriculum and in forming friendships and generally feeling welcome and comfortable within the school environment. This is a challenge rather than a barrier. When you look at the success of these young people, with the support which we put in place, with our EAL (English as an alternative language) teachers and literacy support staff, all of whom do a fantastic job, those students are, in the main, integrating readily within the school and starting to make quick progress.
I want Moseley to be a school which is at the heart of and valued by the entire community. I want Moseley to be seen as a school for the community, so that students, parents and neighbours are proud of Moseley and of being part of Moseley. I want the achievement of students within the school to be above the national average. That is a significant challenge, given that students arriving at Moseley are often significantly below the national average, making the challenge for this school significantly harder to achieve but I am passionate about doing that. I want young people to leave the school with good qualifications, to become active, positive citizens within their locality. This will enable them to bring in jobs and employers wanting to work here. I want Moseley to be an institution which can form part of the future of this area and to build a future for the whole Moseley community. This depends on us challenging ourselves, on ensuring that we achieve those high levels of attainment for all our students.
I want a Sixth Form which students in Year 7 aspire to be part of. I see this being a jewel in the crown of Moseley. I want it to grow in size as more students choose to stay with us. I see a Sixth Form of about 300 students as appropriate to a school of this size, with a good range of provision for both vocational and A Level studies.
Above all, I am passionate that Moseley should be a happy school with mutual courtesy between staff and students because this makes for positive relationships and a positive learning environment in which students realize that their actions have an impact upon others. I want such impact to be positive. I want the new build to bring together a school which has hitherto been separated both physically and historically. This will make the school easier to manage and engender the overall happiness of all concerned with the school.
During our time here we are all custodians of that beautiful old building. It is important that we respect it. Any future work must be in keeping with its historic status. There is a great deal to be gained from the relationship between the school and the Moseleians Association. The association has been of great importance in helping to raise money for the school, for the children and for their education. Its members are the custodians of the history of the school, which is important in terms of knowing what the school is today and what it will be in the future. Having the Moseleians Association there to share that history with those passing through the school in successive years is a crucial role and one which I want nurtured. The MA extends the partnership with those who have left the school. It is important that this should continue.
Mr Roger McBrien
Mr McBrien has many years of experience in a number of schools across Birmingham and beyond. During recent years, as deputy headteacher at Moseley School, he has led the development of teaching and learning where tremendous improvements have been made both in the quality of teaching and the progress of the students.