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Merchants' Academy appoints new Principal

Samantha Williamson will take up the post of Principal in the new academic year

Posted by Hannah Vickers | March 28, 2017 | People, policy, politics

Merchants’ Academy in south Bristol has announced the appointment of Samantha Williamson as Principal. Mrs Williamson, who will take up her new post from 1st September 2017, is currently the Principal of Dover Christ Church Academy in Kent, a position she has held since 2013. 

Asked about her first impressions of Merchants’ Academy, Williamson said that she was struck by the strong sense of family and community that runs throughout the Academy, and the willingness of staff to work together for the benefit of all. 

“I can see enormous opportunity for the Academy to become a community hub. The tenacity and resilience of the community, teamed with their strong support of Merchants’ Academy, is a winning formula. The Academy has fantastic resources that we can use to create many opportunities to bring the wider community into the school,” she said.

Working closely with Dr Hilary Macaulay, Executive Principal of Merchants’ Academy Trust, Williamson says she has firm plans to attract and retain the very best teachers by actively encouraging ambition and providing real opportunities to develop their careers within the Trust. 

I am passionate about ensuring all young people have high quality educational experiences, enabling them to develop interests and aspirations that lead to brilliant futures for themselves and their families - Samantha Williamson, newly appointed Principal of Merchants’ Academy

“Rewarding and inspiring our teachers has an extremely positive and tangible impact on the education of young people. I am passionate about ensuring all young people have high quality educational experiences, enabling them to develop interests and aspirations that lead to brilliant futures for themselves and their families,” she added.

Williamson also spoke of the “depth and breadth of opportunity provided by the Academy’s sponsors, the Society of Merchant Venturers and the University of Bristol, which provides real-world business links that lead to unrivalled career opportunities and a direct route into higher education”.

Having grown up in the Forest of Dean, Mrs Williamson says she is delighted to be returning to the South West with her family.

Colin Skellett, Chair of Governors for Merchants’ Academy, said “Samantha Williamson brings to the Academy a clear commitment to build on the significant improvement we have seen over the past nine years. She has a strategic vision to ensure that more and more of our students have the confidence to set ambitious goals for themselves and progress to higher education.”

Dr Macaulay added, “Samantha’s experience, teamed with her notable achievements as a teacher and Academy Principal, further strengthen Merchants’ Academy’s ability to ensure positive outcomes for young people. We continue to place the best interests of children, teachers and communities at the top of the agenda and Samantha is a valuable addition to the Academy and to the Trust’s leadership team.”

Merchants’ Academy, for students from age four to 18, is part of the Merchants’ Academy Trust that also includes Venturers’ Academy for children with autism from age four to 16.

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