At the end of term we say goodbye to a number of staff: Mrs Banks is leaving after five years’ service as a highly effective teacher of religious education at Cardinal Heenan. She has been instrumental in achieving excellent public examination results in RE. Mrs Wild, Progress Learning Centre Manager since 2016, has helped to pupils in need of additional support and taught the course in BTEC Health and Social Care with dedication. Mr Dobson, Teacher of Languages, and Mrs Brunton, Teacher of English, have been with us for shorter periods. Both these have served the school well. We are grateful for their efforts on behalf of our pupils.
Last year the school was very fortunate in recruiting an accomplished, gifted, wise, experienced Headteacher, Mr Whelan. He has brought vision, rigour and managerial expertise to the leadership of our school. He has been particularly effective in steering the school through a successful Ofsted inspection, introducing significant enhancements to the school curriculum and improving the school’s management of its budget. Mr Whelan is at home recovering following his recent operation and will begin his retirement in September. He sends his thanks and very best wishes to parents, pupils, staff and governors for your prayers and good wishes and for support throughout the school year. Mr Whelan is much admired at Cardinal Heenan. He has been an enormous force for good in our community.
Mr Gibbons, the school’s longest serving member of staff, is also retiring. He writes:
‘I began teaching in September 1978 on the first day of what was then the brand new Cardinal Heenan High School. I have been greatly blessed by spending my whole career in this wonderful school community, from which I have received much more that I have given. Over the years I have been moved and humbled by the profound goodness of our pupils (across several generations) and by the strong sense of Christian vocation that I have witnessed in so many of the staff, parents and governors alongside whom I have worked.
‘I am very optimistic about the future of our school. I have good reason to be. The teaching force is better qualified, trained and gifted than at any stage in my time here. I see their commitment, energy and skill advancing the progress of pupils every day. In September a new leadership team will be at the helm. My meetings with them of late have convinced me that there is a strong capacity to maintain rising standards. There are many changes ahead but I have every confidence that the school will manage these well and continue to flourish.’
All our staff leavers go with the thanks and good wishes of the Cardinal Heenan community.
Governors have been very busy in recent months appointing new staff. Next term we will welcome newcomers: Mr Kelly, Headteacher; Mrs Barnes, Deputy Headteacher; Ms Stockton-Pitt, Assistant Headteacher; Mrs Feasey, Assistant Curriculum Leader for English; Mr Fletcher, Teacher of Science; Miss Wallace, Teacher of Physical Education, and Mrs Wilson, Teacher of Technology.
Existing staff have been appointed to new roles: Mr Teggart becomes Head of Upper School and Mrs Powell-Wiffen Head of Lower School.