St Giles School

A FORMER University of Derby (@DerbyUni) student who has ambitions of becoming one of the youngest head teachers in the country is one step closer to realising his dream after being appointed assistant head at a city school.

Twenty-four-year-old Tom Few was successful in his application for the vacant role at St Giles School; the city’s only special primary school, and takes up the role immediately.

He will also continue to teach Iron Giant class and lead The Hive – the Hampshire Road school’s additional site, situated next to Derbyshire County Cricket Club, which provides a much-needed extra places for children with special needs in the city.

Executive head teacher Clive Lawrence who, at 28-years-of-age, was once the youngest head teacher in the UK, says governors, leaders, staff and parents.

“Tom is a very familiar face here at St Giles and has been with us since his initial teach-training days, when he was a student at the University of Derby,” said Mr Lawrence.

“He was an exceptional student, receiving the Dean’s award for excellence following his graduation, and we were delighted when he joined us as a newly-qualified teacher after finishing university.

“Just three years after joining us, Tom was appointed lead at The Hive and has done a tremendous job during what has been a challenging year for education. At just 24-years-old, he has ambitions of becoming one of the youngest head teachers in the country and he’s one step closer.

“As an assistant head teacher, Tom will take on some additional whole-school senior leadership responsibilities including overseeing our SEND outreach support work. Tom is very well respected by pupils, staff, parents and governors and I couldn’t be more proud.”

Tom said: “The University of Derby provided me with the key skills and knowledge during my initial teacher training and, since graduating – and thanks to the exceptional support I have received from my colleagues at St Giles School - I have developed as a teacher and leader.

“St Giles School is at the heart of the community and they too have been so supportive since I joined the school. I enjoy coming to work every day and seeing the wonderful pupils we have here, who are a joy to work with.

“I’m delighted to have been appointed assistant head teacher and cannot wait to get started.

Meanwhile, St Giles School has retained its Flagship School Status for excellence following an inspection by the Inclusion Quality Mark (IQM) organisation.

The IQM helps schools to evaluate and measure how they are performing; empowering them to improve and grow. St Giles are one of only a handful of special schools in the UK to have achieved this status.

Mr Lawrence added: “The Flagship School Status award is hugely coveted and we are thrilled to have achieved this for a second time, particularly given the difficulties brought about by the Coronavirus pandemic.

“This is down to the hard work, collective efforts and continued support for the entire school community; a real team effort.”

Assessors noted that the learning environment at St Giles School was ‘bright, stimulating and well-maintained’ and that the introduction of the Forest School facility at The Hive has ‘enriched the overall school environment’.

They also praised the school for ‘providing additional language support to pupils and their families who are not yet confident in English’ and noted that ‘the Executive Headteacher is a Department for Education-designated National Leader for Education and has worked closely with Local Authority to implement creative ways to provide additional specialist school places through the development of The Hive provisions.

This has helped to ensure that children with an EHCP are educated locally and not travelling long distances to neighbouring local authorities. 

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