Midhurst Rother College (MRC) was officially opened today by Lord Adonis, a former Minister for Schools and widely acknowledged as the architect of the Academies Programme.
Guests from the local community, including Andrew Tyrie MP for Chichester, Tanya Jones, Chief Inspector of Sussex Police and renowned, local sculptor Philip Jackson CVO, joined students and staff at this momentous event. Guests were treated to spectacular performances from students including a poetry reading, African drumming performance, piano solo and drama performances.
The opening ceremony began with the Head Girl, Laura Adam and Head Boy, George Stringer welcoming guests before the College orchestra played a medley of John Williams music and students performed an excerpt from The Wizard of Oz. This was followed by a welcome from the Principal, Dr Joe Vitagliano, who said:
“Since opening in 2009, Midhurst Rother College has been and continues to be on an incredible journey. We began life as three different schools located on three separate sites. Now we are all together in one fantastic building which every day sees students work hard and achieve wonderful things both inside and outside the classroom.
“Last summer, we achieved our best ever GCSE results which were 20 percentage points higher than those achieved the year before making us the most improved school in West Sussex. Whilst today is a celebration of everything the College has achieved, it also demonstrates the huge potential we have to become an ‘outstanding’ school.”
The College was then officially opened by Lord Adonis who was Minister for Schools when the decision was taken for Midhurst Grammar School, Midhurst Intermediate School and Herbert Shiner School to come together as one academy.
Welcoming Lord Adonis, Dr Vitagliano said:
“Lord Adonis has always shown a personal interest in Midhurst Rother College and we are thrilled that he has been able to join us today. I very much hope that what we are delivering at Midhurst Rother College reflects Lord Adonis’s vision for the College when it was first discussed back in 2007.’
Speaking at the event, Lord Adonis said:
“I am delighted to be opening Midhurst Rother College which is transforming education in its community. Its results last year were spectacular and a tribute to its Principal, governors and staff. I’m also glad to see its partnership with Winchester College which is highly positive for both institutions.”