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Hope you all had a restful holiday and I wish you all success in 2013.

The year has already started well.   The alterations and refurbishment of the school at St. Mary’s are halfway through and is on track to be completed on or before the final agreed date of the 28th January, 2013. Thanks for this must go to Dale Williams from Williams Building Company, whose team have worked throughout the holidays to ensure that the project is completed on time. The very good news last week was that increased ventilation is not an extra cost for us as it is an issue somewhere along the corridor and this will be the Trusts responsibility and apparently easily solved. Also thanks to the support of the Trust who have provided us with a project manager to steer us through the complexities of working in a hospital. Studio 4 architects have designed a school based on the same ‘signature’ as they designed for Chelsea & Westminster and the Royal Brompton – and their strength has been - how to get the best from a small space?

I would like to thank all staff who teach at St. Mary’s for the hard work they have put into the enormous task of sorting and organising the school ready for the renovation especially Jayne Lowry who has taken over the role of co-ordinator for this site. Thanks to the whole team for being so very good natured through a difficult period - only three weeks to go! Anyone who would like to help move back into the space weekend ending the 28th Please let me know – the energy and humour during the weekends spent packing was very much appreciated. Also thanks to Pips for spending additional time helping me sort out cupboards and sheds at Collingham.

Fingers crossed for Friday 11th when the Imperial College Trust are considering an application to give some financial support to this building project at present all the senior reps of the Trust, the medical team and the Charity are very pleased with the development. Ideas for the opening please and also a list of people we should invite – I was thinking about the 26th February for a Special Opening Ceremony. Any views?   Certainly this is an opportunity to thank all who have supported CCHS and also a chance to invite Councillors from Westminster as well as RBKC.

Of course much of what CCHS achieves in providing a 50 week a year programme enriched with our team of specialist teachers, artist and assistants is supported by the Friend of CCHS, an organisation which officially became a Charity in 1996 –the key people remain the same

Nicky Foy, Ann Gilbert, Tricia Cox, Sylvana Camiletti, Su Browne, Helena Steel and Melissa Sistead – as well as many members of their families – including of course Charlie Cox who has agreed to be a school Patron - the energy and goodwill these families provide is beyond measure. So very many thanks to them – and keep up the good work!

A special thanks also to all the Carol singers, who serenaded the Christmas shoppers – making buying those mince pies and turkeys just a bit more fun. An annual event?

To keep you all abreast of staff changes. Louise Ginsberg, after an extremely successful transfer from art assistant to exams officer –(thank you so very much for your efficiency) has now left us for a sojourn in Australia where she hopes to develop her art and movement with children who have special needs. Fortunately she has a very capable sister, Rachel who has been highly trained by Louise to take over this role. We would like to thank Gary Thewlis and his Company who have very ably supported and advised us in our ICT systems. We now have an ICT team, including Martin Dixon, who continues to develop both our web sites. (Congratulations to Martin for his very successful book and exhibitions this year – and good luck for the next year of the course - whatever next !)and Frederic Irigary our Project Manager, whose Collingham leaving videos have now taken on Goldwyn Mayer proportions, (also well done to Frederic who now combines his project role with that of an Apple Advisor) – they will be working together with Gary, Tom Moon and Cindy Hsaio who together will ensure that every site will have a confident ICT person on site – Gary will continue to be our key person dealing with the servers and will be with us on a Wednesday. On the training day we will make lines of responsibility clearer and also ensure that all staff develop their skills.

Welcome back to Lucy Summers who is returning from maternity

Leave at half term, she will be at C & W on Tuesday for one day a week until then as ‘keeping in touch’ days. Sadly Angela Loudon has had to resign due to family issues and ill health, however we are very pleased that she has agreed to complete her targets of rewriting the special needs policy, using her special knowledge and training in the current legal requirements. We wish her well and look forward to working with her in the future especially in developing our outreach training programmes. Alison Catchpole whom has been part of the team over the past year as a regular supply teacher has agreed to take over her post, and they have spent some time together ensuring a smooth handover. We will be advertising the role in the summer term, so we are delighted that

Alison will be able to be with us until the end of July. We have a new learning assistant starting on January 7th, he will be working with DN a student who up until now has been taught at home, he will also be taking over PE for the secondary students.

We wish Steven Crawford and his family all our good wishes for their new life in Australia. Steven had a very positive impact on so many young lives at the Brompton Hospital and we look forward to hearing how he develop these skills in Australia.

Our new team of teachers and Learning assistants, Suzie Tidy, Charlotte Thorpe, Tom Moon, Cindy Hsaoi, come with a richness of artistic and language skills and have settled down incredibly quickly into the complex world of hospital education.

These skills in music, art, drama dance will support us in gaining the Arts Mark and also in further developing the opportunity for our students to achieve the Arts Award. Thank you for the energy and spirit you have shown in your new posts.

Our new administrative team Paulina Gorelick (finance) and Karen Purcell (admin) are doing a splendid job and working very closely as a team to ensure the smooth running of the office, our new Governor Diana Osindero is now our finance Governor and has very kindly offered to have an overview of finances on a fortnightly basis.

I would especially like to thank Shaun for his continued energy and inspirational artistic ideas – especially the now famous Christmas decorations on Foulis ward – and Laura who has been so incredibly ultra-efficient in tackling the very long and detailed Arts Mark form – you will all learn more tomorrow!

We are about to embark on our fourth Comenius project, these have been very successful in the past and have given all members of staff an opportunity to visit and teach in other European countries and also engage our students in a world beyond the hospital. The Gaza Project will continue to develop and we hope that we will in the future be able to host some students from the schools there. Jo has been truly inspirational in developing the international aspect to CCHS and we hope that more staff will take up the mantle and make the most of these opportunities. Marie is the UK HOPE representative (Hospital Organisation of Pedagogues in Europe) and will keep us informed of Conferences in the future where CCHS staff can contribute to ideas on hospital education.

The www.wellatschool.org web site developed by Maria and Martin continues to gain a great deal of attention and many schools and teachers have contacted me to say how valuable they have found the information. During the holidays the mental health Trust were contacted by the First Lady of Malaysia who is coming to visit the UK to find out about education for children with mental health issues. After viewing our web sites they have decided we will be a key visit – this will have in the third or fourth week of January. Congratulations to Maria and Martin. Also good luck to Maria who will be completing her Master’s in Education Policy in 2013 –look out Mr. Gove!    

The DfE are about to publish their Financial Regulations and Accompanying Guidance 2013/14 for Hospital Education– this is the document that protects our budget for the next two years – I have a review meeting at the DfE with representatives from National Association of Hospital Leaders will take place on the 29th January.

After this meeting I will ensure that the Governors, Westminster and RBKC have a thorough understanding of the funding mechanism for hospital education.

Many, many thanks to all staff who put so much effort and additional time in to ensure that all our students have an opportunity to learn and have an experience of success.

With very best wishes,


After taking my the dreaded 3 yearly MIDAS bus test again (and passing despite a plethora of mistakes) – I realised again what a tremendous responsibility it is to drive the mini bus and also the amount of organisation trips out take, so a special mention to Kim who makes so much effort to ensure our students have an enriched curriculum, theatre, cinema, horse riding swimming –to name but a few - really appreciated.     

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