Headteacher’s Notice for 2023/24

Dear parents and carers,

As we come to the end of another academic year I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your ongoing encouragement and support over the course of the year.  Please know that it has not gone unnoticed and has been truly appreciated, especially given the challenging periods of time across the year for us as families and a school community.

As we begin our six-week holiday I would ask that you keep the students and colleagues from our community that are leaving us for pastures new in your thoughts and prayers.  I would also ask that you do likewise for those new colleagues, Year 7 and Year 12 students and their families who will join our school family in September.

Should you be one of our existing families you will be fully aware that it is my annual tradition to reiterate the expectations held by myself as Headteacher and Mrs Roberts as Deputy Headteacher regarding student attendance, punctuality, uniform and work ethic.  This is especially important for those students and families commencing with us from other schools be that in Year 7 or Year 12.  For those of you who are already part of our community this will serve by way of a reminder.


This is the time of year when many of you will be thinking of renewing items of school uniform.  We realise that some students exert pressure on their parents and carers to purchase items which are unacceptable for school.  We would ask that you familiarise yourself with our uniform requirement prior to buying items as sometimes retailers advertise items as “school uniform” which we do not accept.  A copy of our uniform regulations has recently been posted in More News and can be located on our uniform page.  Should you be unsure please contact your child’s Form Tutor for further advice.

We fully appreciate that young people are influenced by fashion trends.  However, we would like to make explicitly clear that body piercings are not permitted apart from girls being allowed to wear one pair of earrings.  Should your child be thinking of having a piercing we would strongly recommend that it is done at the start of the six-week holiday so that it can be removed for school in September.  With regard to hair, no unnatural colours e.g. pink, green, blue etc are allowed and neither are hairstyles with lines/patterns cut into them.  This applies to both boys and girls in all year groups (7 to 13). 

Please be aware that should boys wish to wear longer hair styles, whilst in school their hair must be neatly tied in a bun at the nape of their neck and above their collar.  Hair gel and styling wax/putty is allowed but in moderate use only.  Where phased cuts/styles are worn, the shaved/shorter cut must not exceed a grade onePlease note that all girls in Years 7 to 13 inclusive choosing to wear a skirt will be expected to wear black opaque tights as a replacement for black and white socks.  Female students choosing to wear trousers must wear school appropriate black socks, footsies are not allowed and will not be accepted as an alternative.  Please be aware that bandanas, head scarves and other fashion items are not part of school uniform for either girls or boys and students wearing such items will be asked to remove them with immediate effect. 

Sixth Form students both male and female should pay heed to the requirement that their dress code calls for plain navy, grey or black suits, not chequered or patterned in any way, with a white blouse for girls.  Both girls and boys should wear plain, black footwear.  Trainers and Dr Martens are not permitted.


It is important that all students are prepared and ready for each and every school day.  Again, we expect your support and intervention as parents and carers with this particular matter by ensuring the following regardless of your child’s year group:

  • Each student should have a suitably sized school bag e.g. a backpack – not a fashion bag.
  • Each student should have a fully equipped pencil case containing as a basic minimum red, blue and black pens, a pencil, a ruler, an eraser and calculator for Maths and highlighters for History.  For Health and Safety reasons sharpeners and scissors are not permitted in school and will be confiscated with immediate effect.
  • Each student should ensure that they bring with them their PE equipment or cooking ingredients as their timetable dictates.  Parents and carers my also avail of our service whereby you pay in advance per term and we will provide the ingredients to you.
  • Details will be made known by your child’s D&T teacher in due course.

Mobile phones

As a school our primary concern continues to be the holistic wellbeing of the children in our care.  To this end we prohibit the use of mobile phones and headphones during the school day for all students within all Key Stages inclusive (3-5), and whilst in both breaks, on our yards and corridors.  As has been the case to date, and bearing in mind the need for parents and carers to be assured of their child’s safety, we maintain our current position that students may carry a mobile phone for use on the way both to and from school.  However once on school premises phones must be turned off and kept out of sight within a secure, zipped pocket either inside of the student’s blazer or school bag.  We acknowledge that some students like to photograph details regarding homework on their phones – such provision will be directed at the discretion of the class teacher.  Should students deliberately contravene the above, parents and carers are reminded that we will confiscate headphones and/or phones as relevant.

We would therefore be most grateful for your support in ensuring the following:

  • That your child is fully aware of the above prior to their return to school in September.
  • That you have discussed and clarified our reasons for doing so.
  • That as parents and carers you do not call or contact your child via their mobile phone.  We have perfectly good communication systems within school that are fit for purpose should you have need to contact your child for any reason.
  • If students are found misusing their mobile phones and contravening our expectations, we will confiscate them.  Depending on the “intent” with regards to this misuse we may have need to refer the matter to the police.

Student safety and wellbeing

Whether as a new or existing parent or carer it is essential that I draw your attention to the fact that we operate a zero-tolerance policy with regards to any form of banned substance or dangerous weapon.  The safety and wellbeing of our children is at the heart of what we do and time spent addressing this is time well spent, be that in school or at home.  Throughout the year activities are dedicated to such issues and we intend to continue doing so as we believe it is essential that our children clearly understand the need to be aware of such dangers, the potential consequences they may face if involved in any way in such behaviour and the necessity to speak up and out should they be aware of any such behaviour.  Whilst not wishing to make an example of any child, the safety and security of the community will remain the uppermost priority and the most serious sanctions will be utilised if needed.

Attendance and punctuality

It is essential that all students, irrespective of their year group, develop and are encouraged by you as their parents and carers to maintain sustainably good habits with respect to both attendance and punctuality.  Students are expected by Walsall Local authority, Ofsted and also by us to maintain 97% attendance across the school year.  We would respectfully ask that parents and carers do not arrange medical appointments or driving lessons as relevant during the school day, or book holidays during term time.  Parents and carers are further advised that we will employ the services of our Education Welfare Officer to investigate falling attendance which may in due course be referred to Walsall LA.  In addition, students are expected to be in school for 8.30am each morning.  We will actively engage with Attendance Services in issuing fines to those parents and carers who do not fully support our expectations regarding attendance to school.

Travelling to school by bicycle

We have a number of students who travel to school by bicycle.  We are keen to encourage such independence not least for its benefits regarding the health of our students.  However, it is essential that students doing so must adhere to the expectations and regulations regarding road safety and comply with the following:

  • Any bike brought into school must be road worthy.
  • Students must not ride their bikes on school premises, they must dismount their bikes on entering the premises and push their bike off the premises.
  • Students must use their bikes sensibly to and from school   

We would draw your attention to the need for student’s full compliance with respect to this matter.  Should students fail to do so, and thereby provide cause for concern, we will contact the relevant parents and carers with the view to retaining the bicycle in school as a necessary sanction. We may also pass details onto the Police where appropriate.

September return and the re-opening of school

Our re-opening in September 2023 is as follows:

  • Monday 4th September and Tuesday 5th September – staff INSET Days and no students to be on site (other than those Year 12 students invited by appointment to Sixth Form interviews)
  • Wednesday 6th September – Induction Day for Years 7 and 12 only (8.30am – 3.00pm full day for both groups)
  • Thursday 7th September – all students Years 7 – 13 to return to school (8.30am start)

Exam results

An important event each Summer is the distribution of both GCSE and AS/A Level examination results.  Results days are as follows:

  • A Level – Thursday 17th August
  • GCSE – Thursday 24th August

Staff will be on site to support our Year 13 students collecting their A Level results with regards to next steps and options.

Year 11 students hoping to enter our Sixth Form will be contacted shortly advising them of their appointment time to finalise their Sixth Form course of study.

For any students who are unable to collect their results personally, there are some options available to you.  We can post results to our students but to do so, please ensure an addressed envelope is with our school office before results day.   These will then be posted to your home and should arrive the day after results day.  Alternatively, Year 11 and 13 students are able to send someone on their behalf to collect their results, however we will need written permission from the relevant student in order to hand these over.  This also includes if parents and carers are collecting for students.

If you need to contact school regarding an urgent matter during the summer, the Administration Office will be open as follows:

  • Monday 24th July 9:00am to 3:00pm.
  • Tuesday 25th July 9:00am to 3:00pm
  • Wednesday 26th July to Friday 28th July inclusive closed, open to summer school students only.
  • Monday 31st July to Friday 11th August inclusive closed.
  • Monday 14th August to Friday 25th August inclusive 9:00am to 2.30pm.
  • Monday 28th August (Bank Holiday) closed.
  • Tuesday 29th August to Friday 1st September inclusive 9:00am to 2.30pm.

As I finish, all that remains for me to do is to wish you and everyone at home with you a safe, happy and restful summer break.  As always, you remain in my prayers and thoughts.

God Bless

Headteacher | + posts

Mrs S Bowen is the Headteacher of St Thomas More Catholic School.