Welcome to the 1248 Society

Ken Moffat, Head of School and 1248 President

The aim of the 1248 Society, more than anything, is to allow the experience of being part of the Langton family to extend beyond the few years that you are actively connected to the school to become a life experience that you can contribute to, as well as take away from.

In saying that, there is an implicit understanding that The Langton is unusually special as a school, and I think that is something to which we would all subscribe.

I am delighted with the response from members at the re-invention of the alumni organisation. To all of you who joined up so readily, my thanks, and to those of you who have generously donated already, via cheques and standing orders, my great thanks.

Obviously, one serious aim of the 1248 Society is to provide lasting financial assistance to the School. As we have indicated to our parent body; the government gives us ‘an adequate amount of money to provide an adequate education’, but, as we’ve already said, the Langton isn’t an adequate school. It is, and we want it to remain, a world class institution and some of the developments of the past ten years have been quite breath-taking. In order for this to continue to happen we need private funds to sustain us and any and every penny our alumni and parents can give us will fund a further project or aspect of the School.

For instance, the reason for so much of our Science success has been simply down to the fact that we have been able to employ staff as part time science teachers and part time research scientists. This has meant a significant reduction in their teaching requirement, which is expensive but brings staggering results. My dream is to replicate this amongst our Humanities and Social Science faculties and we will have something truly awesome on our hands. In effect, the Eton of the state sector.

For instance, the appointment to the Langton, in a non-teaching capacity, of Professor James Soderholm is at a cost to the school financially, but I am sure we will recoup in other ways through the drive he is giving to the Arts and Humanities subjects to look at ways in which they too can involve themselves in research beyond the curriculum.

The Coalition’s plans to reduce funding for A-Level students could cost the school £250,000 per annum. An eye watering sum, when we are only allowed to carry over around £150,000 per year of public money or have it clawed back. So you can see the financial tightrope we have to walk. All and any assistance gratefully received.

Onto cheerier matters. The inaugural dinner was a great hoot and fantastic to see Langtonians in their teens and in their eighties present. Good reminiscences all round and a hearty supper supplied by the canteen. Subsequent to this, I am pleased to announce that the Society has, at last, achieved charitable status and so can benefit from Gift Aid donations. And I am grateful to Dr Roly Speller for all his hard work making this happen. Watch this space for news of the next dinner and other social events that we hope to put on this year.

And so, let’s enjoy the opportunity of having created a new forum for celebrating the School. By the time you receive this, we are hoping Michael Gove will have visited the Langton, at our invitation, and we’ll be looking forward to the visit of Poet Laureate, Carol Ann Duffy, in September. It’s testament to our reputation that we are able to attract such high profile visitors to the School. Maybe they just want to become part of the lucky Langton family.