Christ the King College was formed by the successful amalgamation of two popular Voluntary Aided middle schools, Archbishop King RC Middle School and Trinity CofE Middle School. As College Principal, along with the Chair of Governors, Mr David Lisseter, we have steered the change process through a challenging but inspirational journey. Firmly supported both by the Church of England Diocese of Portsmouth and the Roman Catholic Diocese of Portsmouth, and supported on its prayerful journey by staff, parents and the Local Authority. The College opened officially as 9 – 14 school in September 2008, with us becoming a full 11-19 school in September 2013.
Both previous middle schools were successful, distinctive schools and Trinity Middle School’s Governing Body, the school at which I was appointed Head from April 2004, had registered its firm commitment and intention to extend its age range in December 2004. A combination of circumstances, including an outstanding Ofsted inspection for Trinity and the challenge of finding a suitable Headteacher for Archbishop King at a crucial time, enabled the Governing Bodies to think creatively. With the full support of both Dioceses and the Local Authority, I became Head of both schools from September 2006 and a partnership of Governing Body committees was formed, overseen by David Lisseter. The resolution to ensure that the two schools became strengthened even more through the partnership became irresistible and the journey towards amalgamation and extension to full secondary age range began.
The partnership of joint Governing Body committees proved highly successful, as did the working together of so many excellent, dedicated staff to share best practices for the benefit of the students. The response from the respective Bishops, the Island clergy, the parent body, staff and students was very positive and so, as partnerships became cemented, the resolve to create a joint Church of England and Catholic College became firmer. The official consultation process confirmed the support of all stakeholders and 2007 – 2008 swiftly became an important year for transition.
The firm decision both to amalgamate and extend the age range opened up new opportunities for us to drive both the pace and the content of change. David Lisseter was elected as Chair of the Temporary Governing Body and I was appointed initially as Headteacher designate and then Principal. We have worked closely with our staff, students, governors and parent body to build a successful College through the relentless pursuit of excellence. The commitment has always been, and will continue to be, the provision of outstanding education, firmly grounded on Christian principles and recognising and celebrating the strong traditions of the two previous schools. Spiritual strength and guidance was provided by the two Bishops and their representatives and, as the year progressed, excitement grew around the creation of the new school. At the heart of this change have been dedicated staff, hard working governors, loyal parents and, of course, our wonderful students who are excellent ambassadors for the new College. With Christ’s witness in the name, our motto embodied in the College logo and a highly successful opening of the College behind us, we are now set to embrace the challenges of developing the 14 -19 life of our College for a truly inspirational future.