Principal’s Blog – 12th May 2017

University of Leeds Logo

STEM Challenge

During the February half term, a number of students from Minsthorpe entered a Maths competition hosted by the University of Leeds. Over 350 students from the West Yorkshire area took part and two of our students, Ella and Cobey, really impressed the judges and have been invited to attend a special prize giving ceremony at the University on May 17th 2017. Congratulations to these students, this is some achievement to be recognised by a Russell Group University and I will report on how the ceremony went in my Blog next week.

Improving The College Envelope

It is hard to believe but Minsthorpe Community College celebrates its 50th Anniversary in 2018! We will be looking for ideas to mark this illustrious landmark. However, those 50 years have taken their toll on the original fabric of the building. Like so many schools built in the 1960s and 1970s under the Consortium of Local Authorities Special Practice (CLASP) scheme, we are experiencing problems with the building. CLASP buildings are notoriously cold in the winter, hot in the summer, fall into disrepair quickly and need updating in order to meet modern life safety regulations. Like so many schools, we are unable to afford the millions of pounds needed to carry out this remedial work and have been replacing the old modular CLASP exterior with thermally efficient external cladding every time that we have been able to secure funding from the government. In January 2017 we put in a bid to renovate the central block of the school – this includes the Social Sciences/Vocational Education area and the Main Hall.

In April 2017 we learned that our bid had been successful and that we are to receive £2m in funding in order that we can continue with our long term programme to refurbish the college. Of course, this will cause disruption but it will also make a core part of the college safer and more thermally efficient. It is our plan to continue to seek further funding in order that we can tackle the remaining CLASP buildings in phases over the next 3 years, hopefully cladding the final areas of Maths, the Carnegie block and the Sports Hall by 2020.

In the time leading up to our 50th Anniversary it is good to know that we are turning our proud past into a hopeful future that still incorporates the old but that is also embracing the new. A fitting metaphor for the college as we continue to seek to renew what we do without ever forgetting our foundations.

Ray Henshaw