New head for Felixstowe high school

IT'S a new term with a new head and a new school motto for one Felixstowe high.The arrival of Rob Cawley at Deben High is set to give the school fresh impetus - as the debate begins about the future of education in the seaside town and the possible building of a multi-million pound super high school.

IT'S a new term with a new head and a new school motto for one Felixstowe high.

The arrival of Rob Cawley at Deben High is set to give the school fresh impetus - as the debate begins about the future of education in the seaside town and the possible building of a multi-million pound super high school.

At the age of 36, Mr Cawley is one of the youngest high school heads in the country, but his full focus is on those much younger than himself, his students.

“There have been other heads younger than me and I don't think it is a question of age - it's about matching the right person to the right school,” he said.

“I feel I have come to a school that I can lead and develop and make better and that's the important factor. I don't think you have to be 50 to do that.

“This is a fantastic school with a superb staff committed to change and excellent students with huge potential and I am very excited about the challenges ahead and the work we will be doing here to improve Deben.”

Most Read

Mr Cawley, who took over from Terry Ring during the summer, is already introducing changes.

The school, a special college for the visual and perfuming arts, has a new motto - “The best learners in the world walk through our doors” - and prefects, head boy and girl roles, are being reintroduced, and pupils are to be involved in planning the new school as part of a consultation group.

Students are also being asked to focus on four Cs - concentration, co-operation, commitment and community - as they strive for the goals they want to achieve.

Mr Cawley is a firm believer in life-long learning - he is currently studying for a PhD - and feels the challenge of schools and the workplace in the years ahead will be for people to make themselves adaptable to changes in their work and careers.

“The emphasis is strongly on what a learner is and we need to try to teach the students in school how to learn so that they can go out into society, the workplace, university, sixth form, with the skills needed to help them learn and become life-long learners,” he said.

“We have high expectations for them and have set very challenging targets and standards.”

He stressed that while pass rates would rise, it was not just about exams but turning children into adults to take their useful place in society.

Should Felixstowe have one big high school? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk

FASTFACTS: Rob Cawley

Born in Aylesbury, travelled around the country quite a bit in his childhood as his father was in the RAF, settling in Lincolnshire in his mid-teens.

Did his degree at Homerton, Cambridge, and is now studying for his third degree, a PhD in education research.

Began his career as a primary school teacher before becoming a geography teacher at Kesgrave High School in 1994.

During his ten years at Kesgrave, he was also head of ICT, and taught a wide variety of subjects, including RE and history.

Moved on to become deputy head at the Cornelius Vermuyden school and arts college at Canvey Island.

He worked on the school's Building School for the Future programme - Felixstowe is now embarking on this and his experience will be vital to ensuring the resort gets the best purpose-built school and educational structure to meet its future needs.