An Important Announcement From Our Executive Head Teacher

As we head towards the end of term, I just wanted to drop you a brief note to let you know about some changed to the school organisation for January.

You may be aware that after many years of fantastic service to our schools, Mrs Lees retires at Christmas. It’s with great sadness that we say goodbye as she’s been an integral part of so many of our student’s lives before, and since, we’ve moved to the Beacon. On a personal level I’ll miss her as she and I have worked together for 18 years in 3 different schools! Clearly we can never replace Tanya and so we have taken the opportunity to make some changes to the structure of the school and Senior Leadership Team roles for the next year.

We are going to move to 5 zones instead of the 3 we have at the moment. There won’t be any changes to student’s uniform, classes, staffing or location in the school but we will have;

Zone 1 – Reception to YR 6 (Incl. Nursery) – Led by Jackie McFarnell

Zone 2 — YR 7 to YR 9 plus ABA and ASN groups  – Led by Irene White

Zone 3 – YR 10 to YR 14 – Led by Mel Winter

Zone 4 — STLS (our team supporting mainstream schools) – Led by Lynda Evans

Zone 5 — Office, Catering, Finance and Site teams – Led by Sasha Gooding

(See diagram at the bottom of the page)

  • My role as Executive Head, continues as does my secondment to be Lead Professional for the Cooperative Trust covering all of Kent’s special schools, ‘KsENT”, for 3 days a week.
  • We move away from the ‘Head of School’ and ‘Head of Support and Development’ roles we have currently, to a more streamlined “Headteacher” and “Deputy Headteacher” model.
  • Ady Young moves from Head of Support and Development to become Headteacher of The Beacon.
  • Ali Cole, will be joining as Deputy Head. Ali is a very experienced Deputy who is really excited to be joining us and will be looking to learn as much about The Beacon as possible, as quickly as possible, in order that she can ‘hit the ground running’!
  • Jackie McFarnell moves from YR 6 Teacher and Leader of Learning to Assistant Head for Zone 1.
  • Irene White moves from Assistant Head for Zones 1 & 2 to Assistant Head for Zone 2.

Whilst I’m sad to be saying goodbye to a dear friend and wonderful colleague in Tanya Lees, I’m very excited at the prospect of carrying on her great work and building the new team to take The Beacon onwards and upwards in working with you and our wonderful young people!


Yours Sincerely,

Mr Neil Birch, Executive Headteacher