New Gordano headteacher preparing ‘special’ school for future challenges

Tom Inman. Picture: Ian Johnson

Tom Inman. Picture: Ian Johnson - Credit: Ian Johnson

Gordano School’s headteacher is nearing the end of his first year in charge and says the school’s ‘strong’ education will continue in the face of a ‘tricky financial climate’.

Tom Inman took over the role on a temporary basis from Gary Lewis in September 2017 but was given the job permanently earlier this year.

He joined Gordano School’s ranks as head of sixth form a decade ago and went on to be deputy headteacher before landing the top job.

He said: “I made a specific decision to stay at Gordano because I believe we have got a really special community here.

“Being the single secondary school which serves the community I think puts us in a very strong position in terms of the support we get, in particular from our parents, and in the sense of the students and their belonging to the school.

“That really engenders a sense of pride in our school and an engagement both in the academic work but also in the wider life of the school in terms of the extra-curricular enrichment contributions we make.

“To me that is an absolutely crucial part of young people’s development to be ready for the next stage in their lives.”

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Gordano School has more than 1,800 pupils and is preparing for an expected increase by opening a new dining hall and modern languages block which will be operational in September.

It benefits from being part of the Lighthouse Schools Partnership (LSP), a group of more than a dozen secondary and primary schools which share resources.

Mr Inman said: “Schools are working really hard to provide the same quality of education in a really tricky financial climate.

“One of the real advantages of us being part of the LSP is it will enable us to continue to provide the best education for our young people in a more efficient way by collaborating with other schools and supporting provision that some schools are struggling to offer.”

Gordano also boasts a close relationship with the area’s thriving’ business community to help prepare students for employment.

Mr Inman added: “It is a challenge in education but I think we have responded to it really proactively .”

North Somerset Council is working with the school to make extra places available amid fears of a shortage from September 2020.