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Monday, 21 April 2014

New executive head for troubled Cumbrian schools

The headteacher at Brampton’s William Howard School is to become executive head at two schools in Workington which were put into special measures.

Lorrayne Hughes photo
Lorrayne Hughes

Lorrayne Hughes will take up the interim position managing Stainburn School and Science College and Southfield Technology College, said Cumbria County Council.

The authority added Mrs Hughes will manage the schools through a consultation process ongoing “about potential closure and conversion to a single academy and put in place measures to quickly improve standards”.

Both schools were put into special measures by the education watchdog Ofsted.

Mrs Hughes’ role at William Howard will change from headteacher to executive headteacher. Current deputy head Domenic Volpe will step up to the position of head of school, added the authority.

The news follows confirmation that the head at Stainburn, Chris McGrath and Lynda Dalkin, head at Southfield, are stepping down from their posts.

A process is underway to appoint two new interim heads of school who will manage the day-to-day business of each school under the overall leadership of Mrs Hughes.

She said: “I am pleased that Cumbria County Council has vested its confidence in me to undertake this pressing and important task.

“I will be working closely with the local authority and the current senior leadership teams to develop a robust plan to rapidly move the existing schools out of special measures.

“It is vital that we all work towards achieving success and high standards across both schools.

“So my decision making will be based on what is in the best interests of the children of Workington who deserve outstanding educational opportunities.

“I hope that the parents and the community will give us their unreserved support and help us to achieve our aims.

“We need to put the past behind us and move forward to build stability and an environment for delivering high quality teaching and learning.”

Mrs Hughes added: “The governors of William Howard School are fully supportive of my secondment and I have the utmost faith that I am leaving the day-to-day organisation and running of the school in capable hands.

“My excellent leadership team and staffing body will continue to maintain the standards required to ensure that William Howard remains a high performing secondary school.”

Councillor Anne Burns, who has responsibility for children’s services, said: “This is an excellent appointment and excellent news for pupils and parents at both schools.

“Lorrayne Hughes has an outstanding track record of delivering high quality education and I am very pleased she has agreed to act in this role, I’d also like to thank the school’s governors for agreeing to this arrangement.

“Mrs Hughes has extensive experience of creating and developing effective leadership teams which is going to be crucial through the next 12 months.

“This appointment reflects the council’s approach of working with secondary schools in the county to support one another to drive up standards.

“We do have schools where performance needs to improve but we also have outstanding schools and our aim is to harness the skill and expertise that we have in the county to benefit all pupils in Cumbria.

“I really encourage the local community in Workington to get behind Mrs Hughes’ appointment and give her the support and encouragement that will be needed to turn things around at both schools.”

She added: “I would like to thank Mr McGrath and Mrs Dalkin for the energy and service they have given both schools, and the wider community, over the years and I wish them well for the future.”

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