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Last week Mr Alexander announced that he has decided to retire at the end of this academic year. Staff were unaware of Mr Alexander’s intentions until he made a brief announcement at a staff meeting and there was a moment of silence as they digested the news.  

Jill Elson, Chair of Governors, made the following statement to the press.

Mr Tony Alexander has announced that he will be retiring at the end of the summer term after 15 years as Principal. The experience and knowledge he brought to the College, combined with a passion for providing the best possible education for his students has seen the College go from strength to strength during the time he has been with us. When he joined us, fewer that 70% of parents made us their first choice of secondary school – now well over 90% choose us first. He is extremely well respected by residents, parents and pupils in both Exmouth and the surrounding area. In 2011 he led the conversion to an Academy and the last Ofsted inspection in 2013 rated us as Good with Outstanding features and the Inspectors said, “Inspirational leadership produces an extremely harmonious school where teaching is often outstanding”.  

We have had many challenges since he was appointed, but his strong leadership has seen much improved academic performance and a vastly improved site with new buildings and many upgrades to the existing campus.

The Governors will begin the recruitment process for a new principal immediately. We are determined to appoint someone who can build on the legacy that Mr Alexander leaves behind and who will continue to provide a Community College of which we can all be proud.

Mr Alexander wrote to all parents and carers to inform them of his decision.

Dear Parent/Carer

May I wish you and your family a belated Happy New Year.

The new term has started well and the exciting new building renovations on Gipsy Lane site for which we received a grant of £720,000 are nearly finished.  This has resulted in buildings with new roofs, very efficient insulation, new double glazed windows and new guttering.  This has greatly improved the teaching and learning environment as well as saving thousands of pounds annually in heating costs.

The new maths block with state of the art technology and smart boards is a wonderful teaching environment and we are looking forward to a replica building being constructed adjacent to it next year.

We have also applied to have the whole humanities block on Green Close site replaced at a cost of around eight million pounds or, if that bid fails it will be totally refurbished.  Obviously I am doing all I can to obtain a new building.

Our new staff have settled well and comment very favourably on the very good behaviour, attitude and appearance of our students.

Last term saw a wonderful variety of trips and activities for the children, which included visits to the British Museum, Ben Ainslie Sailing Centre in Portsmouth, Birmingham University for four days, trips to Cambridge, Oxford and Exeter Universities and a two day trip to Manchester United FC.  A group of our business studies students won a competition and were flown from Exeter to London City Airport and spent a day at HSBC Bank.  Mrs Ford took a group to Disneyland to work on a business project for four days.  A group also went to the Royal Opera House for a performance and the Robotic Club, having won the area final in Cornwall, are going to Bristol to compete in the National Finals. Last term also saw our wonderful November music concert; an outstanding and innovative performance of ‘Twelfth Night’ and the term was finished with a truly magnificent Carol Service at St John’s Church.

This term we are eagerly awaiting the dance performance of ‘Blend’ in March.  The music department are taking the orchestra and choir to Amsterdam for five days.  Trips to the Roman Baths and the Royal Albert Hall are also in the pipeline.

In addition for year eleven students, after school revision classes have been held since October and Saturday morning revision classes will be held throughout this term, followed by a three day revision class at Easter and Whitsun.  I hope parents will ensure all year eleven students attend the classes.

You can imagine my pride in having staff who are prepared to offer all these extra opportunities to your children despite the legal and health & safety issues involved.  The school is in very good heart to face the challenges ahead which include preparing for harder examinations, coping with a reduction in finance and increasing expectations from the Government.

You will gather from the above, that I am very proud of the College. It is therefore with a heavy heart and much sadness that I have to inform you that I will be retiring as Principal of Exmouth Community College on 31st August 2017.  I have led the school for the last fifteen years and have enjoyed every moment (nearly!).  I have a wonderful teaching staff and an excellent support staff, teaching assistants, caretakers and caterers all of whom will continue their outstanding work once I have gone.  The school, students and staff are very well placed to meet the challenges ahead.

It is, therefore, with great pride and much sadness that I will leave the school, where I have had the privilege and honour to be the Head, knowing that it is ‘a remarkably harmonious school where much of the teaching is outstanding and where the behaviour and attitude of the students is exemplary’ (Ofsted).

I remain,

Yours most sincerely

Mr A K Alexander


The search for a new Principal begins.  An era is ending.

Principal, AK Alexander, To Retire