KHS Parent / Carer Update

March 2019


22nd March 2019

Dear Parents and Carers,

It has been a very full and active year so far since Odyssey Trust for Education and Townley Grammar School opened King Henry School. Teams across the two schools have been working on the improvement journey and I am now in a position to provide parents with an update. 

As you are aware, with a vacancy for a Headteacher, we made the decision to share the role between myself and Ms Heather Whitmore, the Director of School Improvement for the Trust. While this has been a successful arrangement and I have thoroughly enjoyed getting to know the school, its staff and students, it now seems time to hand over the Acting Headteacher role fully to Ms Whitmore. While I will still be very much involved as Executive Headteacher and CEO, Ms Whitmore will be in charge of the school on a daily basis for the rest of this academic year.

I have been greatly impressed by the students, who have been very welcoming, confident and engaging. Both they and the school have an immense amount of potential and if that is to be realised I have to step fully into the role of CEO so that our vision and plans can become real. I leave King Henry in very capable hands with an excellent Acting Headteacher and the addition of two outstanding Deputies.

We have continued with plans to appoint a permanent Headteacher and I am pleased to say that we have had a very strong field for the post. Candidates are currently going through a longlisting and shortlisting process which will be completed with two days of interviews on the 4th and 5th April. I am determined that King Henry School has the calibre of Headteacher that you and your children deserve and the successful applicant will have to pass a pretty challenging process, including interviews by students,  to measure up. The new Headteacher will begin in September and I will of course inform the whole school community once that appointment is confirmed.

Changes continue in the meantime and so I have attached our vision for the Curriculum and the proposed new school day and school year. I will of course be happy to take questions and comments via my EA, Mrs C Dooley at  but I would like to outline here the motivation around the changes.

There will be a parents event to explain this in more detail and to respond to any questions that have been sent. Details are given below and we hope you will be able to attend.

King Henry School – Wednesday 8th May – 6pm – Hall


It is our belief that all students should have access to a full and rich curriculum that enable them to play a full part in society and lead successful and happy lives. This means all students, regardless of their needs and abilities get the opportunity to study a curriculum that covers the sciences through to the arts. With that in mind, we have increased the time for Drama and Music. We have also introduced a course titled 21C which will cover everything we think they need to know that is not covered in the traditional subjects.

We have called our curriculum The Wonder Years, because we believe education should create a sense of wonder and a love of learning. We have also emphasised the importance of knowledge. Students should know and remember stuff if they are to be successful.

School Day /Year

We have determined that both staff and students will benefit from a two week half term in October. It is a tiring year for us all and can lead to high levels of sickness. We also wish students to have the opportunity to travel with the school during these times and of course enable families to have sufficient time together. We have achieved this by maximising the time in the school day. There will be a longer lunch break and an early finish on a Monday for students to participate in extra- curricular activities. We have also added an additional 5 Training Days for staff. We expect your children to have the best trained teachers possible and that takes time.

King Henry School Year Day Odyssey Curriculum

I hope you will agree that what we have planned will serve your children and the entire school. That King Henry School will become not just a good school but an outstanding one. I realise changes can have an impact upon families and their commitments but I trust you will appreciate that without change nothing grows. We have come a long way in a short space of time and we have an ambitious vision that will take us even further. I am grateful for your support in this and look forward to the achievements to come.

Desmond Deehan

CEO/Executive Headteacher

Odyssey Trust for Education

Download/view print pdf of above letter.