‘Final word’ of the year + important updates

This morning during our final Community Meeting of the year I spoke to staff and to students about how well our young people have managed this incredibly challenging and unprecedented year. 

I will never forget having to break the news to individual students, parents, staff and whole year groups that they were being sent home because of positive Covid cases. Not once was the news met with a celebration or cheer. Instead, each and every student reacted with sadness and disbelief because they wanted and needed to be with their friends, teachers and crews here in school. 

This sense of belonging is an incredible feature of our schools. As a community we have been through so much together. Every member of staff is so proud of our kids, and as I write this ‘final word’ blog post I am incredibly moved by what we have achieved this year, and we have achieved it via a collective sense of togetherness: students, cleaners, teachers, admin support, executive team members, learning coaches, leadership, parents, cooks… everyone!

As we look to 2021/2022, we will move forward in the spirit of Crew, with the continued hope of getting everyone to the top of the mountain. 

We’ve got our kids’ backs every step of the way!

Important updates not to miss:


A personal update:

From September 2021, I will be joining XP Trust’s Instructional Leadership Team, working on Teaching and Learning across our secondary and primary schools including our new secondary, XP Gateshead, which opens in September. Andy Sprakes, the Co-Founder of XP and former XP Principal, will be the Executive Principal for both XP School and XP East. I will also support Andy Sprakes in my role as School Lead for XP East. 

It was a tough decision to say goodbye to the role of Principal of both schools but some people say that being a teacher and developing teachers is my superpower, and whilst I would never call myself a superhero (!) I have to admit that this is where my heart lies. 

Whilst I am taking on this new role, I would like to take this opportunity to reassure parents that I am not going anywhere! As mentioned, I will still be based at XP East in the role of School Lead, and still heavily involved with XP school but I will be broadening my role across the whole Trust of schools. Apart from being a Centre Midfielder for Barnsley FC, or playing guitar in the Foo Fighters, for me this new role has to be the best job in the world!

I’d like to thank the Executive Leadership Team for allowing me to pursue my passion. Their support for my new role reflects their determination to ensure that we have the best teachers, and the best learning experiences for students in all of our schools. It also exemplifies what XP is about: enabling everyone to become the best versions of themselves. 

Have a restful Summer. We go again in 6 weeks!

Jamie Portman

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