THE headteacher of Westcliff High School for Girls – one of the best in the country – is to leave after 17 years at the helm.
Dr Paul Hayman announced his plans to leave on August 31, 2021, adding he had been “privileged” to lead the school but he now wants to “consider new challenges and possibly have a bit of a break”.
The school, in Kenilworth Gardens, Westcliff, is consistently among the highest performing schools in the country with outstanding exam results.
Dr Hayman told parents he had been the “custodian” of the “highest quality of education, our staff, our site and our resources”.
He added: “Throughout my tenure I have been fortunate to lead strong and effective teams which has allowed so much to be achieved.”
He said the school was in a strong place, but it was good to have fresh ideas and challenges which a new person will be able to bring.
Dr Hayman added: “The nature of teaching and learning has changed and developed, the buildings have been improved and extended and the school has been successful in its role as a National Teaching School.
“But the key purpose remains, to provide education and opportunities to our pupils which will develop them as lifelong learners, who are confident, successful and ambitious, and equipped for the challenges they will face ahead.
“For that I must thank the teaching staff for their excellent teaching and commitment, including that shown beyond the classroom, and the support staff for everything they do to keep our school operating at its best in all areas.”
Dr Hayman said he had decided to give his notice early to allow governors and trustees the maximum time to secure a replacement.
He added: “I am sure they undertake this process well and will be in contact to advise you of the progress made.
“Despite these challenging times, I am hopeful that there will be a handover period with the new appointee.
“ By next summer just over half my school career will have been spent at Westcliff High School for Girls, and throughout that time I have maintained a timetabled teaching commitment.
“Teaching and the response of the pupils continues to be the best part of the work and the part of my role I shall miss most. We still have the best part of a year ahead. It is looking to be a challenging year, and I look forward to your continued support throughout this time.”
Dr Hayman said he had informed staff and would have liked to have told pupils personally, adding: “But in these strange times I have had to ask the staff to do this for me, though I plan to mention it during the final assembly this term.”