Carlisle headteacher to take over at Workington Academy

Des Bird
Des Bird

The 'dynamic' headteacher who has led the turn around of Carlisle's Morton Academy is leaving to take up the helm at Workington Academy.

Des Bird will leave the Wigton Road academy at Easter after four years in charge.

He said: "It has been a wonderful few years here and I've really enjoyed it.

"It will be sad to leave the school and the community.

"I'm proud of the school and everyone here and I know Morton is a strong place to move forward."

Mr Bird, 37, is set to make a return to school leadership in west Cumbria.
Before joining the Carlisle academy in February 2014, Mr Bird was deputy head at West Lakes Academy, Egremont.

Mr Bird, who was interviewed for his new role a week ago, says he is looking forward to the "fresh challenge" at a new, larger school.

Details have emerged a week after the new £16.5m Workington Academy complex was officially opened by the Duchess of Gloucester.

Colette Macklin is currently in charge of Workington Academy, having been in place since last October.

Workington Academy sponsor Cumbria Education Trust, which also runs William Howard School in Brampton, is delighted Mr Bird has been appointed after attracting a field of high-calibre candidates.

Trust chief executive Lorrayne Hughes said: "We were very pleased to attract such a strong field of high calibre applicants and also to have secured such a great headteacher.

"As a member of the education community, Des is well known and highly respected.

"We have every confidence in his ability to build upon the firm foundations that we have established at Workington Academy and to lead the academy to further future success."

Mrs Hughes also paid tribute to interim head Mrs Macklin.

The announcement was made in a letter to parents of Morton Academy's 580-plus pupils on Tuesday - at the end of a two-day inspection from education regulator Ofsted.

It comes after the school celebrated its best-ever GCSE results for the third year running.

Derek Davies, regional director for the academy's sponsor United Learning, said: "I am writing to inform you that Des Bird will be leaving the academy at Easter to take up a post as head of Workington Academy which is far closer to his home and family.

"Over the past three years the academy has made significant advances in its journey to becoming an excellent school.

"Des’ impact as head has been a vital element in this.

"The entire academy has been transformed over this time and we are fortunate to have an excellent group of staff whose commitment and expertise is proving so important."

Findings from the inspection will be published in the coming weeks.

Two years ago Morton Academy was judged to require improvement by inspectors.

Ofsted recorded a number of "good" areas of provision in its inspection, stating Mr Bird's leadership was "dynamic".

They also noted how the school had "travelled a considerable distance in a short amount of time" following his arrival in February 2014, months after the school had failed an inspection and was in special measures.

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G   H , CARLISLE Wednesday, 11 October, 2017 at 8:42PM
Sadly, academies are not interested in the children or parents. As a parent who has had children in local education, my youngest has moved school to do his A Levels in a non-academy school. My experience and advice is to avoid academies, they're just simply result driven for funding. No wonder UK education is poor.
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Jim   Bob , Workington Thursday, 05 October, 2017 at 1:17PM
This is a joke school.... The new build and subsequent moving into the new build had left serious lack of equipment for the pupils which has affected their recent GCSE grades. Fact. The school management knew about it and failed to act. Parents should be inundating the trust and headteacher with letters demanding answers. Pupils grades have been affected and the school didnt care.
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