Goodbye letter from Mr Braund


4th April 2022

Monday 4th April 2022

Dear Parents and Carers,

Where to begin?

My wife said to me recently ‘You have been really happy at St George’s!’ Once again, Mrs Braund is right! I have loved every minute of my time at St George’s and feel extremely privileged to have been the head of such a wonderful school these past four and a half years. I can’t leave without acknowledging many wonderful people!

Firstly, Helen Mac Connell has been a rock to me behind the scenes. Being a Governor is a voluntary role. The hours she has spent with me in meetings, visiting and on the phone has been incredible. She really cares about everyone in the St George’s community and has been a constant and wonderful support. The school are very lucky to have Helen and the Governing Body. Their hard work and commitment ensures the consistently successful running of the school.

In addition, the school staff have been outstanding in every way! They are wholly committed to giving everything they possibly can for the children. The atmosphere around the school is smashing and the staff enjoy working together! They are a great team and I have been extremely privileged to have worked with them all. There is so much that goes on behind the scenes and I am constantly in awe and inspired by the team around me.

Mrs Gordge, or as I often refer to her as ‘my school boss’, plays such a huge role in ensuring the school successfully operates as it does. It’s no secret that nationally school finances are a challenge for business managers. Mrs Gordge manages ours brilliantly and always ensures value for money. She has been exceptional and has been my constant go to for advice and thoughts. Like Helen, she is very knowledgeable about the school and the school and I would be lost without her. In addition, Mrs Bradshaw brings so much to the office and whole school team. Nothing is ever too much trouble and she is happy to do anything that helps the school run as smoothly as it does. Working with Mrs Gordge and Mrs Bradshaw in the office has been fantastic!

My two assistant heads Mrs McDonnell and Mr Lake play such an important role at St. George’s and they do it so very well. They do so much behind the scenes to ensure everything is as it should be and have always been there to support and discuss plans for the future. I am delighted that Mrs McDonnell will be covering as Head for the summer term and that Mr Lake will be supporting her in this.

Mrs Bullock has been another wonderful support.  She is excellent in her role as SEND and EAL lead. She is brilliant at reaching out to the community and working with the staff, children and families. Mrs Bullock has been a constant point of contact for advice and ideas for me to go to and I continue to learn a lot from her.

In fact, the role that every staff member has from teacher, support staff, office staff, lunch time staff, cleaners, caretaking, volunteers, governors are all individually so incredibly important. Everyone always work so hard to make sure that the children get the very best each and every day! I am absolutely thrilled that the staff has fairly much stayed the same from when I started in 2017 because I knew I was inheriting a wonderful team.

I have loved being outside every day with Mr Davies. He started just after I did in 2017 and he has been absolutely excellent! He is great at what he does and is brilliant company as long as I keep him topped up with biscuits and custard doughnuts! It has given me so much satisfaction to see how much Mr Davies enjoys being at the school and I have loved seeing how the school community interact with him.

From a personal point, I cannot thank the staff and governors enough for how they looked after me when my daughter (Gracie) was diagnosed with Type One diabetes. It was a traumatic time and caused my family so much worry but the St George’s team were so kind, so loving and so supportive. The Braund family will always be grateful!

Mr Hanratty has been wonderful! It has been so important to me and the school that Peter continued to visit. The welcome he gets from us all and the children is super. St George’s very much need Peter and I hope he continues to visit for many years. His only worry about me taking over from him was me turning the school red! J

Monsignor Bernard has left a lasting impact on me and the school. We are still in regular contact and his support, guidance and friendship has been incredible. I have learnt a lot and continue to learn from Monsignor Bernard. Father David and Father Tom continue to be kind and supportive to everyone in the school community and we are lucky to have them.

We are very fortunate to have the many volunteers at St George’s. They help in so many ways from supporting singing assemblies, listening to readers, changing books, gardening and helping with events.

The Fundraising Team have been so proactive with their ideas and enthusiasm to raise as much as we possibly can for the school which has such a huge impact on the children.

The strong relationships with our local schools has contributed to the development of St George’s. Gareth Jones (Parkfield), Karen Wedlake (Trull), Rachel White (Bishop Henderson) and Mike Turner (Bishop’s Hull) have been immense. At the end of a phone at any time and happy to help in any way. They are a brilliant group of head teachers. Very kind, very caring and a lot of fun!

John Abbott and his team at Richard Huish have been happy to support the school in anyway and we have been lucky to use their recording studio, theatre and have access to other parts of the college.

All of you wonderful parents and carers have been so good to me and I will always be grateful for your kindness, encouragement, support and understanding.

Finally, the children! I am so proud of them all in how they come into school happy and enthusiastic. Behaviour for learning at St George’s is outstanding and I have enjoyed seeing the children so engaged in their learning. Their attitudes and polite manners sets them up for a successful future and they are an absolute credit to themselves, their families and the school. The biggest compliment I could ever give is I only wish Gracie and James had attended St George’s!

I will conclude this letter to you all by saying that it has been my absolute honour to have been the head teacher at St George’s. I have so many incredible memories that will always be treasured and looked back on so very fondly. I will miss you all very much.

Thank you!

Love and best wishes,


Mark Braund