Academy Trust

Exmouth Community College

Achievement for All

Chair’s Update

Fraud and Irregularity Accountability for academies is substantially stronger and tougher than for maintained schools.


Minutes of past Governors Meetings can be found on the Governance Page


Other Interests:

Member of Devon Education Forum as an Academy Representative

EDDC Cabinet Member for Sustainable Homes and Communities

EDDC Councillor for Exmouth Halsdon

Founder and Chairman Exmouth and District Community Transport Group

Voluntary Driver for Exmouth Lympstone Hospiscare


Jill Elson

23 Hazeldene Gardens

Exmouth EX8 3JA

Tel: 01395 264731 My Website is www.jillelson.co.uk


Email: jill@jillelson.co.uk

January 2017


The College enjoyed a very successful autumn term buoyed by pleasing examination results.  A variety of trips to London, Paris, Birmingham, Bath, Plymouth and Bristol were arranged for students to enjoy historical, cultural, sporting and theatrical events.  One group of sixth formers won a business competition and were rewarded by a flight from Exeter to City Airport London where they visited the Headquarters of a major bank and enjoyed an exciting and eventful day.


The school orchestra and choir produced a very exciting November concert raising over £1,600 for the Raleigh Rotary Charity.  They also provided the music for a very entertaining production of Twelfth Night.  Then of course one of the annual highlights was the outstanding Carol Service at Withycombe Church, a truly wonderful evening.


As the year progresses we are faced with some financial challenges due mainly to the falling birth rate – which Mr Alexander and his team were aware of five years ago.  Due to their excellent planning and foresight we gained permission from the Government to build some reserves as a cushion knowing that the birth rate has started to increase and new children will be attending the College.


Some other challenges to be faced include:


1. The Government has introduced a more challenging and academic curriculum with longer examinations and more difficult questions.  


2. Devon County Council has found that it has a shortfall of funds for those who are in the highest band for special needs, who need extra help. The proposal by Devon County Council to ask every school/college to have reduced funding of £55 for every student would be a loss of £120,000 to our Education Funding Agency agreed budget. This proposal was unanimously voted down at the Devon Education Forum in October, of which I am a member, and we await DCC Cabinet’s final decision.


3. We were told that under the new formula funding, after the review by Government, we will have £79,000 less than last year.


I have written to our MP, Sir Hugo Swire, to explain the problems we face with our budget. The above changes are in addition to the increased costs all businesses are facing of increased contributions to pensions, apprentice levy, NI etc. Sir Hugo Swire MP came to the College to meet Mr Alexander just before the end of last term and had a fruitful discussion.


You will have all seen phase 1 of the 16 classrooms block with 8 classrooms completed for Maths and in use from September. We are now seeking the funding to complete phase 2 for another 8 classrooms. Funding for this project has been agreed by Devon County Council but we await the result of a consultation on the Community Infrastructure Levy (ends 16 January) on the priority list from East Devon District Council for contributions from developers.


We had very pleasing improvements in our GCSE and ‘A’ Level results during the summer. We are concerned that many students will be spending longer in exams and we will be helping our students as much as possible by using the ‘mock exams’ to illustrate this. Students will need full parental support during these testing times.


We were delighted that a ‘Tennis Academy’ in partnership with the Tennis Centre was officially opened in November: it is an exciting project.


The spring term will involve parents’ evenings, mock examinations and the distribution of reports for year nine.


As mentioned earlier many visits and opportunities are afforded to our students thanks to the voluntary efforts of staff. Last term our students went to The Picture House, Exeter to see a Shakespeare Film in preparation for GCSE, attended Ballet Rombert, in Plymouth, visit to the Clothes Show in Birmingham, two day trip to Manchester United and three days to Disneyland in Paris.  The Geography Department also took “A” level students for four nights in Birmingham.


We have an excellent team of pastoral staff who work closely with our students. Additionally, we have the ICE Team from Churches Together linked to the ‘Open Door Centre’ who are such an asset to the College in terms of providing additional support. The new service across Devon, called EH4MH – Early Help for Mental Health.  This is specifically to help young people in schools with mental health need. If a student feels they have a mental health need and wish to access help they can do so online at www.kooth.com or www.youngdevon.org or phone 08082 810 155. This is a free service funded by Devon County Council and schools across Devon.


We recently held our annual Awards evening for our past post 16 students who had achieved excellent results during their time with us. It was a very enjoyable evening and I am sure all the parents and carers were very proud of the students.


Our team of nineteen Governors bring a variety of knowledge and experience to the College. They are volunteers and do not receive any payment. We have had two new Governors join the team this term: Anna Stimson and Philip Wales. We are very aware that Parents, Grandparents and Carers support is essential to enable our young people to get the most from their education to reach their individual potential. We thank everyone for the support the College receives.  


Finally, can I remind everyone that Governors welcome the opportunity to talk to parents and carers about any matters to do with the College.  We have a “Governors’ table” in the main hall on Parents’ Evenings. If anyone wants to talk to us, do come and see us, we welcome any opportunity to hear your views.






Jill Elson

Chair of Governors