Class Action: Minehead Middle School

First published in News Somerset County Gazette: Photograph of the Author by

‘STRIVE for excellence’ is the motto at Minehead Middle School and head teacher Paul Rushforth is doing all he can to ensure that’s what all pupils are aiming for.

The 529 students and their teachers are celebrating a recent ‘Good’ Ofsted report but Mr Rushforth says they are always looking to improve.

“We were very pleased with the OFSTED and what they had to say but we aren’t complacent ... I want all of our children to leave here and go on to get the best grades they possibly can at GCSE.

“I plan to be here until I retire and I will continue to do all I can to make this school the best it can be, by continuing to employ the best teachers and giving as much support as I can to them and to the parents.”

Being part of the Exmoor Coast Federation means that the school can be there with parents from the beginning of a child’s education and help with the transitional periods, according to Mr Rushforth.

As well as having been head teacher at the school for 12 years, he is also a school inspector.

He added: “It gives me the opportunity to see what other schools do well and bring it back here.”

There are big plans in place for the school too.

Having made a recent truce over admissions with West Somerset College, it means a significant amount of money has been freed up for other uses.

Mr Rushforth said: “Now that we don’t need to expand our premises we can spend the money on other things.

“We’re looking forward to working with the college and from September we’re going to employ two people to form a choir and teaching all year five pupils music.

“We’re going to provide them with instruments and lessons and try and take them to GCSE level by the time they leave us.

“I want us to be the best music school in Somerset and we’re very excited about this prospect.”

He added: “The pupils are happy here because we respect them and in return they respect us.

“I want them to carry on being the good characters they become here when they leave, to work hard and to have high expectations of themselves.”

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