Fond Fearnhill farewell as head teacher Jed Whelan takes up new challenge after nine years at Letchworth school

Ian Morris Headmaster of Highfield School and Jed Whelan Headmaster of Fearnhill School

Ian Morris Headmaster of Highfield School and Jed Whelan Headmaster of Fearnhill School - Credit: Archant

Pupils at Letchworth’s Fearnhill School started the new term on Wednesday without the familiar sight of Jed Whelan, who has bowed out after nine years as headteacher.

Jed is moving on to be ‘acting temporary headteacher’ at Sir Frederic Osborn School for the next three terms, after he was invited by education chiefs to help improve the struggling Welwyn Garden City school.

In his absence, Liz Ellis – who was deputy at Simon Balle School in Hertford – will be interim headteacher, with Fearnhill deputy Katharine Lovell leading the school on Fridays.

Jed said: “The local authority know my commitment to young people and they discussed with me the possibility of helping Sir Frederic Osborn.

“I said I would only consider it after Ofsted confirmed in July that Fearnhill was a good school and I was confident that the school would continue to go from strength to strength – this has now been secured.

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“When the local authority said that the students at Sir Frederic Osborn needed me, I couldn’t refuse them. Everything we do in education is always about the students coming first.

“I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at Fearnhill with the students.

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“The school has a special place in my heart and I can never thank the students and parents enough for the faith and trust they placed in me.

“I know that under the joint stewardship of Liz and Katharine they will lead Fearnhill to even greater heights.

“I would like to thank all the community of Letchworth for their support over the last nine years.

“It is a fantastic place to live and work – indeed I am swapping one garden city for another.”

Chair of governors Paul Vaughan said: “Ms Ellis is an outstanding teacher with an excellent record in leadership.

“We know that Fearnhill is in a confident place and we will continue to build on this momentum.

“It is a marvellous career development opportunity for Mr Whelan and although we will miss him very much for the year, we wish him success.”

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