Blog

Another academic year has come to an end

01 Jul 2015

Another academic year has come to an end. It has been a busy year, the main event being the takeover of the College by Bellevue Education in March.

I am delighted that we are now part of a group of schools and larger organisation as I can now call on any one of a group of advisors with expertise in different fields; this is of great help to me and befits the School greatly. It has also opens up investment and growth opportunities that I didn’t have before. There are very exciting times ahead, I am sure!

The examination period and the end of term went well. I know that the GCSE students enjoyed their visit to Thorpe Park. I am particularly grateful to James Thirtle who organised the very busy public examinations schedule with quiet professionalism and attention to detail. Unusually, this year, I took my summer holiday in June whilst the examinations were taking place: I travelled around the Highland and Islands of Scotland with Jannick (my dog) for just over three weeks. I don’t know why I haven’t done this before, as it is the most sensible time for me to take a break. There is no A-level teaching in June and all the senior staff are around to manage the School in my absence. I think I will make this the model for the future. I didn’t go to Scotland for the weather (which wasn’t that good); I went for the peace and solitude. I can certainly recommend a break in the Outer Hebrides. The beaches on the west coat of Harris and Lewis rival any in the Bahamas for the scenery, white sand and crystal clear water. Unfortunately, the North Atlantic is rather colder than the Caribbean! I did once own a crofting house on the east coast of the isle of Harris with views over the Minch to the Isle of Skye and Wester Ross on the mainland. Despite its wild remoteness, this part of the British Isles still pulls me back.

July and August are also very busy months for me: it is the period of the year when I do the majority of the recruitment work for the following academic year, so it is important that I am around during the summer holidays. Since I returned from Scotland at the end of June I have already had many prospective student/parent interviews and a number of enrolments for September. This has coincided with the release of the new website which is a great improvement on the out-dated version that has been running for over five years. We have chosen a format that works well on smartphones; I would recommend that you take some time to peruse the Website, especially on your phone!

Over the summer a number of further improvements to the College building are scheduled. Over the last three years many internal upgrades have been undertaken; this year the external front and side of the building will have a ‘facelift’. All the windows will be replaced and the outer aluminium cladding and signage will be improved/replaced. The area around the art studio will also be upgraded.  This will be complete by the end of August. Next year we intend to upgrade the car park by resurfacing, planting shrubs and trees in raised beds and installing new lighting. All this work should create a more welcoming and ‘softer’ building on first impressions. The current stainless steel somewhat shabby ‘cube’ needs a reinvention.

As part of the new recruitment drive, we have an Open Day scheduled for Tuesday, August 25th for prospective parents and their children. I will be asking some of our current and recent students to help with this important event. But if any student, past or present reading this would like to help, I would only be too glad to hear from you. My new Admissions Coordinator – Owen Lord will be able to give you more details and book you in – so please do get in touch.

Finally, I am delighted to announce that the College is to open its first boarding house in September. We have found a very good suitable property in Whitehall Gardens on the Ealing/Acton boarder, close to Ealing Common tube station. Initially, Dr Elizabeth Wilde will run the boarding house with the help of a resident matron. This does not mean that Liz will be doing any less teaching in the Biology Department from September; Liz will continue as Head of Biology/Science and teach as much as she has done this year. In the first year, several of our existing international students will take up residence in the house together with new enrolees for September and January. 

The College has gained in reputation significantly over the last five years: in the league tables we now rank alongside the bigger players in the market such as Lansdowne, MPW, Duff-Miller and DLD. I really do want to ensure that students in the locality who feel that they want to re-sit their GCSE or A-Levels to improve their career and university prospects consider Ealing Independent College as a realistic choice. The teaching here is as good, if not better than the central London colleges that offer similar courses but at a much greater cost. Ofsted graded the teaching as ‘outstanding’ in 2010 when we last inspected. We are due for another inspection in the next academic year.

I wish you all a very restful and good summer vacation.

Dr Ian Moores

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