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New head aims high to make school even more successful

The new headteacher of Glebelands School has declared herself to be a traditionalist.

"I want to develop an ethos where respect is at the centre of all relationships and underpins very good behaviour which is essential for learning and progress," said Anne Hutchinson.

"I am a traditionalist with traditional values and high standards," explained the mother-of-two, who is now approaching the end of her first term at the specialist science school.  Mrs Hutchinson, who succeeded Nikki Knight, admitted her arrival in Cranleigh at the start of the year was not the easiest - and all because of the weather.

"It was a baptism of fire or rather ice.  It was difficult because it was hard to find my feet.  We had an inset day, one day with the students and we were then closed from the Wednesday to the Friday.

"The following week it was closed on the Wednesday."

Looking on the bright side, she said: "In some ways I got to know the emergency procedures and working with the local authority very well."

Mrs Hutchinson, who comes originally from Burnley, was previously deputy head at All Hallows, a Roman Catholic secondary school in Farnham, where she had also stareted her teaching career.  She taught at a school in Berkshire and then George Abbot in Guildford, where she was assistant head, before making her return to All Hallows.

Explaining why she had taken the job at Glebelands, her first as headteacher, she said: "What appealed was the idea of the school being centre of the community, with good results and a good Ofsted report.  When I came here I was struck by the sense of a real community spirit and the friendliness in terms of the relationships between staff and students, staff and staff.

"I feel I have got a strong starting point - it is already a successful school.  I feel there's a great capacity to become an outstanding school and I know the staff and students will want to work towards it.

"I think it has all the elements ready in many ways.  We will further develop the curriculum so students engage with it totally," said Mrs Hutchinson, who son and daughter Emma are both of secondary school age.  I came into teaching to try and make a difference and that's what I believe is central to the teacher's role.  What you hope is that the students learn they too can make a difference when they leave Glebelands.  It can be personal, academic or extra-curricular.

"I have met some delightful students who are very confident and articulate and are a real credit to the school.

"Staff are willing to go the extra mile to help the students.  We run an Easter school, which is great for staff to volunter to do that," she said.

She declared herself a fan of the school's regular Focus days, which she said 'really enrich the students' experience' as well as the community science events, one of which has already been held this year.

"I am a scientist, so with that background it was lovely for me to see that specialist science with the community involvement," said Mrs Hutchinson, a biology teacher who has taught all three science subjects to GCSE level.

She said to date, her focus had been on the school, but that she was looking forward to "spreading my wings" and meeting more members of the local community.

Acknowledging the move up to head of a school was "a really big change," she added: "I am looking forward to the challenge that leadership brings.  I look forward to coming into work because I am motivated to make that difference."

Source - Surrey Advertiser