Baker’s Beacon Blog – Week 18

9 February 2023

Dear Parents,

Staff Changes at The Beacon

Replacing Mr James Skea was always going to be difficult but, following a comprehensive recruitment process involving candidates from a number of high profile local and national schools, I am delighted to announce that Mr Stephen Miles has been appointed as Deputy Head (Pastoral) from September 2023.  I first met Steve in 2001 and knew then that he had the character, personality and dedication to be an outstanding school leader.  I have no doubt he will continue to enhance the lives of all of the boys at The Beacon and be instrumental in the School’s development in the coming years.

With Mr Miles moving to Deputy Head (Pastoral), it allows for a management re-structure of sorts to give clarity to respective positions of responsibility. Mr Simon Detre, whose passion and wise counsel for everything Beacon is so evident, will become Senior Deputy Head from September; deputising for me in my absence, alongside his existing executive responsibilities. Mrs Nikki Olhausen, currently Lead Director of Studies, will become Deputy Head (Academic). One of our most respected colleagues, Nikki is a highly experienced and knowledgeable educationalist and extremely well versed in the senior school transition scene.

For the last few weeks we have welcomed Mrs Sandy Drury, our new Wellbeing Coach and School Counsellor, to The Beacon. Sandy has extensive experience in this role and knowledge of local schools, having worked at Gayhurst and Heatherton for a number of years. A full time appointment, Sandy is stationed in the Counsellor’s Office in Beech Barn and is available to speak and listen to the boys on any issue that concerns them; she will also be a key part of the Pastoral Team going forward.

And lastly, I have to applaud our parent ‘workers’ who spent last Friday and Saturday voluntarily clearing the woodland area at the entry to Willsfield. Making it safe, accessible and welcoming to our EYFS boys will make such a difference to their outdoor learning experiences and vastly improves the aesthetic appeal to the local community. Thank you to William and Fay Hedges, Nikola Milcic and Mel Wright, Thomas Brend, and of course our very own Mrs Jenny Grubb, for the initial vision and for coordinating the initiative.

I am increasingly aware that everyone makes an effort and contribution in this School – we are all immensely proud to be ‘Team Beacon’.

Have a restful half term,

Nick Baker

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