Retiring Exmouth Community College principal proud of achievements

PUBLISHED: 12:30 14 July 2017

Tony Alexander, principal of Exmouth Community College.

Tony Alexander, principal of Exmouth Community College.


The retiring principal of Exmouth Community College says he is leaving ‘with a very heavy heart’.

Tony Alexander will retire at the end of the summer term, after 15 years in the role.

He says he is proud of his record at the college, and has achieved what he set out to do.

He said: “When I was appointed I was asked what my aim was, and I said my aim was to turn this school into the first choice for every parent in the catchment area, and six years ago we were oversubscribed and were for several years.”

Mr Alexander, who has spent a total of 47 years in teaching, said major achievements included the replacement of 18 mobile classrooms with the Green Close art, music and science, block, and enclosing the college by installing fencing and the footbridge which directly links its two sites.

He said: “It’s the footbridge and fencing that has transformed the image of the school in the town because parents could feel that their children were secure on site.”

Mr Alexander also highlighted the introduction of a new uniform during his time at the college, saying: “The introduction of a new uniform and determination to improve the behaviour and attitude across the school has been the major factor in the school’s improvement.”

Discussing improved exam results during his tenure, Mr Alexander said that when he started, 42 per cent of pupils achieved five or more A to C GCSEs including English and maths, whereas last year the figure was 68 per cent.

He said: “That equates to approximately 132 more children leaving the school with GCSE results that will improve their life chances.”

Mr Alexander said he was also proud of achievements away from exam results.

He said: “I firmly believe a school is about a lot more than exam results and I have been pleased with all our Ofsted inspections which have said the school is good with many outstanding features and they have recognised the improvement in sporting achievements, in drama productions and musical concerts and our dance performances.

“The school has a thriving Duke of Edinburgh scheme. The Ten Tors expeditions were extremely successful and this year our three teams completed the course.

“Of course none of this is possible without a great staff and I’m extremely fortunate to have built wonderful teams of staff, comprising 160 teachers and over 200 support staff.

“The catering is excellent, and the caretaking, examination, financial, and personnel teams all play crucial roles in an academy, and one of the turning points of our success was converting to academy status six years ago.

“And of course I have been supported by a very professional and totally committed board of governors whose current chairman Jill Elson and previous chairman Liz Lee have been towers of strength for me.

“Above all, the behaviour and attitude of the children are a delight. They are a great credit to the community and themselves and of course their parents.

“I have received so much support from parents, the whole town, local councillors and our MP, who have all pulled together to help develop the school over the last 15 years into one that I’m truly proud to be the head of.

“I leave with a very heavy heart, but knowing especially with the new buildings and the high quality of my staff the college is well equipped to meet the challenges ahead of it. And I wish the parents, students, staff and governors the best of fortune.”

Discussing how he plans to spend his retirement, Mr Alexander said he would continue as governor of three local schools, and would be indulging his love of sailing, tennis, body boarding and cycling, as well as watching cricket and watching Exeter Chiefs as a season ticket holder.

He also has several holidays planned with wife Kathy, and plans to spend time with his grandchildren.

Andrew Davies will take over as principal at the college in September.

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