Chiswick School Headteacher announces zero tolerance of bad behaviour

Head teacher of Chiswick School, Laura Ellener, has sent a letter home to parents promising a ‘new era’ for the school and has put both pupils and teachers on notice that she expects nothing but the best for the school. ‘This requires habit change and relentlessly focusing on behaviour’ she says.

Her declaration comes after sports teacher David Schramm was caught on camera in a drunken snog with a former pupil. The woman was 18 and had left the school two years previously, so he had done nothing illegal, but the release of the video on social media caused a flurry of disgusted comments. Laura, who took over the position of head at the beginning of this year, suspended him immediately and he has now left the school. He had been a popular member of staff and had worked at Chiswick School for more than ten years.

Here Laura sets out her vision for the school and what she expects from students and staff.

New Era for Chiswick School

Laura Ellener, Headteacher of Chiswick School

Chiswick School is at the start of a new chapter. I became Headteacher in January 2019, and I am committed to doing whatever it takes to ensure every student at Chiswick School achieves their full potential. Establishing excellence and demonstrating the highest standards of behaviour, teaching, and learning are non-negotiable, and will support Chiswick School to be a wonderful and exciting place for children. I have extremely high expectations, and just as there are no shortcuts, there are no excuses.

Our vision is to ensure that Chiswick School provides a high-quality education, so that all students can thrive in their chosen pathway. This requires habit change and relentlessly focusing on behaviour. Being respectful, learning kindness, and gratitude – this is what we expect from everyone. We expect children to line up in silence before entering the school. We expect every lesson to begin in total silence, and for children to be smart and well-equipped. I am proud to say that every visitor has remarked how different the school is and how calm our classrooms are.

These standards also apply to our staff: the way they present themselves, the language they use, and the way they interact with others. I understand that this has not always been the case in the past, and this is the beginning of a new era. I would like the community to be confident that I will not tolerate members of my team letting down the incredible children and parents at Chiswick School. A recent incident involving a member of staff was shared on social media. The incident has been dealt with very seriously, and we have made the relevant referrals and followed our procedure. As a consequence, this colleague has left the school with immediate effect. We won’t be commenting further on this matter on any other forum however I have personally responded to anyone who has contacted the school directly. I have also been overwhelmed by the support of existing parents who have seen the school’s progress over the last six months.

Being a teacher is one of the most important and rewarding jobs in the country. Teachers and parents need support and appreciation from society. Chiswick School now has a strong, direct, and no-nonsense Headteacher, and the staff and I are dedicated to making sure the school upholds the highest standards. I would ask that the community support us in our journey and understand that this will take time. Please have confidence that I and the rest of the staff will work tirelessly to provide Chiswick with the secondary school it deserves.

Everyone is welcome to come and see this change for themselves, and we are hosting open mornings in July. I am also available to the community, and love showing people around the school and talking about my vision that Chiswick School will be outstanding.

Open days are Wednesday 3 July, Tuesday 9 July, Thursday 26 September, Tuesday 1 October, Tuesday 8 October, Wednesday 16 October. There will also be an Open evening on Wednesday 9 October.