Letter from Executive Headteacher

June 2022

Dear Parents and Carers,

As you will be aware Birch Wood has continued to grow to meet the needs of our community. Since I arrived as Headteacher in August 2016 our numbers on roll has grown from 147 to a planned admission of 225 for August 2022. Over this time, we have invested heavily in Birch Wood Grange Drive, Birch Wood Vale and Ashton House to improve facilities and extend our buildings to accommodate all our wonderful children. These developments have included the following projects:

  • Modular Build at Birch Wood Vale
  • Specialist Food classroom installed at Birch Wood Vale
  • Accessible outdoor gym equipment in playground at Birch Wood Vale
  • Development of Ashton House Secondary Autism Provision
  • Large extension at Grange Drive to create a specialist Post 16 classroom
  • Installed outdoor sunken trampolines and indoor trampoline for Rebound Therapy
  • Installed an immersive room
  • Enlarged the carpark

Staff numbers have also grown in proportion to the number of students and complexity of need. In response to all these developments we have recently restructured our existing Senior Leadership Team to improve our overall capacity. I will remain as having oversight across all the settings at Birch Wood as Executive Head, with current staff taking on the following roles:

  • Tom Smith- Head of School- Birch Wood Vale
  • Tom Bradley Hewell- Head of School- Birch Wood Grange Drive
  • Amy Dunstan – Deputy Head- Behaviour and Culture (special focus communication and interaction/Autism)
  • Phil Leaney- Deputy Head- Quality of Education

(The above roles have equal seniority)

  • Claire Wood – Senior Assistant Head
  • Hannah O’Mara- Assistant Head- Engagement and Independence curriculum pathway
  • Joe Knowles- Assistant Head -Ashton House/Behaviour & Culture
  • Michelle Walker- Assistant Head- Aspire curriculum pathway

Our new Assistant Heads will continue to have classroom responsibilities and will be teaching your children at their current sites.

The need for special school places remains high in Leicestershire and at Birch Wood we take our role in being able to meet the needs of students in our locality very seriously; this has been our main driver for developing more space for children with SEND. This is balanced against ensuring we are not overstretched nor dilute the quality of our provision. Therefore, the growth of physical resources, staff and key members of the leadership team is aimed at continuing to maintain our high standards of education and to ensure we are ready for future challenges and development.

If you have any questions or want to get in touch, please do not hesitate to contact me. In the meantime, please join me in congratulating staff in their new Senior Leadership roles, I am sure you will agree they make a great team!

Yours sincerely,

Rosalind Hopkins

Executive Headteacher