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New headteacher reveals his vision for Workington Academy

Des Bird plans to build on the successful foundations already put in place by Cumbria Education Trust

Posted by Lucinda Reid | April 03, 2018 | People, policy, politics

Workington Academy, which is sponsored by Cumbria Education Trust (CET), has welcomed its new headteacher, Des Bird, who will take up his role in earnest when students return to school after the Easter break.

He takes over from Colette Macklin, who performed the role of interim headteacher for just over a year and has been instrumental in setting the school on course for its future success.

Selected for the post from a very strong field of applicants, Des Bird is working at Workington Academy one or two days each week, taking the opportunity to familiarise himself with day to day operations and meeting staff, students, parents, carers and the community, but he has wasted no time in setting out his vision for the academy.

Speaking about his new role, Des said:

“I am very much looking forward to getting my teeth into the role full time.  It is a tremendous opportunity to build on my experience and utilise the potential of this amazing new building to further improve the quality of teaching and learning across the school.

I want Workington Academy to offer an excellent educational experience for the children and young people of Workington in every lesson, every day and to be able to provide not only a first-rate education to each and every student, but one that is rooted in my belief that all students have the potential to succeed.  

I will be focusing on ensuring there is a breadth of opportunity for all students regardless of age or background and setting out my expectations for behaviour and attendance.

Workington Academy must remain an integral part of the community, able to adapt to the changing local landscape and economy.  I think it is vital that we develop not only as an educational establishment, but also as a large employer in the area, recruiting and developing high quality teaching and support staff.

It is my intention to build on the successful foundations already put in place by CET which has a sound reputation for swiftly and sustainably improving the schools it takes on.  So far, I have been struck by the commitment and professionalism of the staff body, along with the friendly and courteous students who have made me feel so welcome.  All the indicators for future success are looking good.  Everyone I meet wants Workington Academy to be a good school and to make a positive contribution to the town. 

It is certainly an exciting time for the academy as it moves into a new phase in its development and for me, personally. I am excited about the future, and never more certain that we can succeed.”

CET Chief Executive, Lorrayne Hughes, added: “When Ofsted visited Morton Academy, the inspectors described Mr Bird’s leadership as ‘dynamic’ and noted that the school had ‘travelled a considerable distance in a short amount of time following his arrival in February 2014’, so we were absolutely delighted when he accepted the position of headteacher at Workington Academy. As a trust, we are resilient and we were prepared to wait until we found the right headteacher: we have found him in Des Bird."

“Mr Bird is not only well known within the regional education community, he is highly experienced, highly motivated and shares our vision and values for placing the interests of children and young people at the heart of all decision making. He will be a tremendous asset to CET and we have every confidence in his ability to build on the firm foundations we have established at Workington Academy,” continued Lorrayne.

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