Tuesday 7th January 2014
Appointment of Headmistress
The Board of Governors is delighted to announce the appointment of Mrs. Amanda Letch as Headmistress of Thomson House School from April 2014.
Mrs. Letch is Deputy Head at Grove Park School in Hounslow, where she has been a key member of the leadership team that delivered an 'outstanding' in a recent Borough inspection and where she is directly responsible for teaching and learning. At Grove Park, Mrs. Letch has also led the school through an expansion phase, including new building projects. She is an outstanding teaching practitioner and experienced leader who has been able to have a great positive impact at her current school. An economics graduate, prior to teaching, Amanda worked for a number of years in an investor relations consultancy in the City of London. Amanda enjoys the theatre, walking and is a confident sailor. She has four children and lives in Chiswick.
Mrs. Diana Maine will remain as our Principal, closely working with Mrs. Letch on a part-time basis, up until Spring 2015. We are extremely grateful to Mrs. Maine for all her work as Thomson House's founding Principal; she is an inspirational leader. The Chair and Board of Governors look forward to working with Mrs. Maine and Mrs. Letch from April 2014.
Planning and building update
Thomson House School opened in September 2013 on our Vernon Road site with two forms of entry. Our objective is to grow into a school across two sites – Vernon Road and Sheen Lane, the latter which has been leased to Thomson House’s Trust by Richmond Council.
In December 2013, Richmond’s planning committee overturned the recommendation made by the planning officer for approval of a new build on 27 Sheen Lane. The committee voted 5 to 3 against us, with the chair voting in our favour. Therefore, the application was rejected by one vote (as in a tie the Chair casts a second deciding vote).
Lord True (Leader of the Council) Cllr Paul Hodgins (Cllr for Eduation) and Nick Whitfield (Director for Education and Children Services) have been unanimous in wanting to let you know directly that their commitment for Thomson House to open on the Sheen Lane site remains steadfast, and they will work hard to help us tackle this challenge.
The Chair of Governors is working with the Borough and our local representatives to map the most effective strategy for advancing phase 2 of the building work on 27 Sheen Lane, meeting with our MP, the Council Leader and the Department for Education over the next two weeks to agree a way forward. Our options include re-application and appeal. All our local representatives remain fully committed to Thomson House opening on the Sheen Lane site, alongside our Vernon road site.
This will lead to delay on our proposed building time-frames which will mean that when we open for the September 2014 academic year, both our 2013 entry year, and the new Reception classes for 2014 will both be located on Vernon Road across four spacious classrooms.