School elects new chairman of governors

This Is Wiltshire: Canon John Cunningham, who is going to be the new Chairman of Governors at  St Joseph’s Catholic College Canon John Cunningham, who is going to be the new Chairman of Governors at St Joseph’s Catholic College

ALL change at St Joseph’s Catholic College, as the school which was put into special measures has now elected a new chair of governors.

Canon John Cunningham, 57, has been chosen to replace the outgoing chair of governors, Stephen Lake, who is due to resign at the end of term.

Canon John, the former vice chair of governors, said: “I am very pleased to have been elected chair of governors at St Joseph’s, and hopefully we can make sure the improvements that have already begun there will continue.

“It is a matter of building on the good work the principal has started.”

A recent report from Clifton diocese praised the work of the school during the past year in delivering Catholic education.

The report said: “The college’s capacity to sustain the quality of care and education it provides is good. The areas for development noted at the last inspection have been addressed effectively.” Canon John considers this a vindication of recent good work.

“The sec 48 report from the diocese was good with outstanding features, and that was very gratifying,” he said. “It gives the Ofsted report a bit of balance.

“When the Ofsted report came out it was looking back towards last year, and this is looking at more recent events. “It proves we are looking at the issues and progress is definitely being made in the right direction. But we are not there yet.

“I am very encouraged and the whole governing body has worked very hard to look at what needed doing in the school. The process is still ongoing.”

Former chair of governors, Stephen Lake, said he thought Canon John was the perfect man for the job.

“This is an excellent appointment and he will do a tremendous job,” he said. “He has a great range of educational experience from his work in Taunton.

“I am sure he is going to support the new principal and help him to continue the good work the governing body has been promoting for the last 18 months.

“Canon John joined the governing body about 12 months ago, and has been very supportive of the work we have been doing during this period of transition. I wish him all the best for the future, and I am sure the school will be in a safe pair of hands.

“We are also extremely pleased by the report from the diocese, which reflects the hard work everyone has put into the school.

“I would like to praise the hard work and dedication from all of the governors which has turned the school around. This can be seen by the recent report, which will hopefully put the Ofsted report into sharp focus. It reflects the turn around in the school over the last 18 months and supports future improvement.”

Stephen Lake is due to step down on December 31, and Canon John will take up his post on January 1.

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