Allow me to firstly introduce myself, my name is Stuart Brooks and I am proud to be the Headteacher of Sanders School which is situated off Suttons Lane.
Our school has a most unique and fascinating history. On Wednesday 24th March 1943 at 10.40am, a Spitfire of No. 64 Squadron piloted by an American volunteer serving with the R.A.F., Flying Officer Raimund Sanders Draper, developed engine trouble shortly after take-off. What actually happened will never be known for sure but those present believe that he intended passing to the left of the school in an attempt to land on the open ground beyond. Realising that with reduced power he could possibly hit the school, he deliberately put the nose of the Spitfire down in the playing field, whereupon it bounced up onto the gravel drive and came to rest against the wall and windows of the two end classrooms. The noise was tremendous but mercifully the high-octane fuel did not ignite and only one boy, Dick Barton aged 13, was injured. An R.A.F. crash tender smashed its way clean through the wooden boundary fence but Sanders Draper was dead in his cockpit.
The boys were assembled in the School Hall by Mr. Ward, the Deputy Headmaster, where he told them the sad news. After the dinner break, schooling resumed as normal. We are forever grateful to Raimund Sanders Draper for the sacrifice he made for reasons unknown to me my predecessor made the decision to change the name of our school to Sanders School. I feel that this is most disrespectful to the memory of Raimund Sanders Draper and the sacrifice he made. We should not only be immensely proud of our history, but look to build our school ethos around this.
I am writing to you to make you aware of my proposal to change the name of the school back to its previous name of ‘Sanders Draper’. I am keen to celebrate the rich history of the school and that of the local area. As part of this we are currently devising a house system which will be based on and around the rich history of the local area.
Since taking over at Sanders, it has been both my own and the Success for All Education Trust’s focus and priority on improving the education experiences of our students. I feel that this change is an important step in linking the school to its wonderful history.
At a time when the money provided to schools is at an all-time low, I understand that you will have concerns as to the costing of this proposed change, as there are expenses to be considered and factored in. Understandably I need to ensure my students receive the best possible education and would not look to in anyway detract from the resources I am able to offer them. I will be looking to set up a GoFundMe account to raise the necessary funds to cover the changing the name. If any additional money is raised/donated, I would look to pass this on to the RAF Association, who provide a wealth of support to the RAF family.
I will hold consultation on this proposal until the 13th March 2020 and am happy to answer any questions you may have in regards to my proposal. You can get in contact with my PA Vicky Murphy on [email protected], by phone on 01708 443068.
S Brooks N Yeomans P Ward
Mr S Brooks, N Yeomans, Mr P ward
Headteacher, Chair of Governors, Executive Head of SFAET