Official announcement from our Headteacher

Dear Parents,

It’s with heavy heart I write this letter to all here at Black Firs. You may have already heard rumours, and there’s still two terms to go, to say thank-you, to celebrate but I wanted to make an official announcement about my retirement as the school’s Headteacher. My last day at Black Firs will be at the end of this school year, August 2023.

I’m so thankful for the opportunity I have had to work at Black Firs School and become an integral part of the community. I know I will not be able to thank each one of you as I would like to, and some have moved on before me. I am not naming individuals as there are so many of you who deserve my gratitude and respect.

It has been a privilege to serve as your head teacher for 25 years (1998-2023). As I took the school keys in April 1998 I immediately felt at home. I had so many ideas and dreams for this school and am happy to say I have seen most of them come to fruition. Working with your children has been so rewarding; it’s beautiful watching the children use the school grounds for learning, sport and play. Reflecting on the 50+ years of the school reminds me of those who have led as head teachers, given so much as staff and grown from infants to young people. How many mischievous chuckles, firm friendships, great and small successes and perhaps one or two glorious failures, have contributed to the learning journeys of Black Firs children - and adults too? It is both humbling and exalting to have been a part of the rich memories made at Black Firs.

I am at heart an educationalist who strongly believes that children should enjoy their childhood and that a love of learning and of life should be at the core of excellent schooling. Over the years, I have watched the pressures increase on schools, their children and families, with the ‘busyness’ of lives today. More than ever, I see the huge importance of finding a balance, of talking and sharing our struggles as well as celebrating our achievements and of finding, even momentary, stillness. I am also a great believer in committing fully; if you choose to do something, then give it all your energy and dynamism and always seek the positives. I sincerely hope I have served you all well in the quiet reflective times and the hectic whirl of the school years. So many magic moments, so many minor crises, some very sad days, some joyous. Six OfStEd inspections to showcase our ‘Black Firs way’! So many delightful and fantastic children; little-legs I’ve watched grow into long-legs that walk confidently out of the building after eight years, what a pleasure to have helped them along their journey.

Thank you to all at Cheshire County and now Cheshire East Council, to The Learning Alliance, our MAT, to officers and colleagues who have offered their advice, kindness and care to those in school. Thank you to all the School’s Governors, and the three Chairs, past and present who volunteer their time and give such steadfast support to School. Thank you to the gifted teachers, teaching-assistants and staff with whom I have worked alongside across the years and become friends; to everyone who show such dedication to our children. Thank you to all those who come-and-go in your own way; to PTA, helping, volunteering, fund-raising; your kindnesses are noticed. Thank you to those who champion Black Firs through recommendations and supportive comments that build our reputation; your loyalty is appreciated.

Thank you, Black Firs School and Congleton Town, for taking me into the heart of your community; you will definitely remain in my heart and mind. I appreciate each of you and you’re understanding. I’ll miss our students, past and present; I wish you all the best in your future endeavours. If you’d like to contact me with questions about my departure, you can email me directly at or call me at school at 01260 272938.

Kind regards,

Martin Casserley