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    21 April 2020  

Dear Parents / Carers,               


Re: New Headteacher’s welcome 


It is with immense pride that I introduce myself as your new Headteacher of Sandcross School. I feel very privileged to be leading this impressive school through the next phase of its development and determined to see Sandcross School go from strength to strength. 


After being appointed in November, I have been working closely with The Every Child Trust and the senior leaders in school to ensure a smooth transition and learn about the progress the school is making to provide outstanding education for our young people. I am looking forward to continuing this work within the school to develop it further and particularly looking forward to strengthening the school’s partnership with parents/carers in order to ensure the best outcomes for the children. 


The school has an enormous amount of potential to promote learning in all environments. The facilities Sandcross have, as well as the high quality and enthusiastic teachers, make exciting foundations to provide a centre of excellence for learning where children come to school each day eager to learn and progress confidently into the next phase of their education.  


With 15 years of primary teaching experience, it still gives me an enormous amount of pleasure seeing the progress children make when given the provision and motivation to succeed. I have taught in schools both on the Isle of Wight and in Surrey.  My most recent Headship at St John’s, Dorking, saw the school move from being the bottom of the country to successfully being placed in the top 5% of schools nationally for progress for four years running. For the past two years, the school has been the number 1 school in Surrey for progress and now supports other schools to achieve excellence in Teaching and Learning.  


My biggest driver as a Headteacher is seeing the potential in others, whether it be a child or member of staff, and guiding them to lift their wings and fly. I very much look forward to working with all stakeholders at Sandcross to see its potential shine.  


Outside school, I am a family man with a wife, Louise, and two beautiful daughters, Isla and Olivia. Isla started school in Reception this September and Olivia turned 2 in January. I am a keen sportsman and enjoy running (strangely at 5am – the best time of day!), cycling, swimming and a recently new sport of golf – I need a lot more practice in this believe me! 


It is certainly a strange time to start a new Headship with only a fraction of children and staff in school and the rest in the ‘virtual’ world. Yesterday afternoon, I led a video conference meeting with all 68 staff members and I was exceptionally impressed with the passion and determination they all have to ensure we can provide the best possible learning experiences for our young people.  


I am looking forward to getting to know all parents / carers and children in the coming few weeks / months.  


Yours faithfully. 


Mark Richards  


Sandcross Primary School is committed to safeguarding, child protection and promoting the welfare of children and young people. We expect all members of the school community including staff, parents, carers, volunteers and governors to share this commitment.