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New head teacher Debra Murphy with students

Oak Tree Primary Academy welcomes new head teacher

Debra Murphy has already started to put her stamp on the school

Posted by Stephanie Broad | October 21, 2016 | People, policy, politics

The Oak Tree Primary Academy, which is sponsored by the Northern Education Trust, welcomed a new executive principal at the start of the new term.

Debra Murphy, who has been working as principal at an academy in Bolton, which is also sponsored by the Northern Education Trust, has a reputation for strong leadership and working tirelessly to raise standards.

Oak Tree Primary Academy in Stockton, which converted to an academy in September 2013, is larger than the average-sized primary school and caters for around 440 pupils aged from three to 11 years. In 2015 the school was judged to require improvement after its removal from the special measures judgement it received in 2012. 

Murphy has already started to put her stamp on the school by introducing a new behaviour code, undertaking a refurbishment programme and re-vamping the external learning areas, particularly the school garden, so that it can be used more extensively as a learning resource.  She is looking forward to building on the foundations laid by her predecessor and has plans to further raise standards and improve every aspect of teaching and learning.

The Oak Tree is a lovely school with happy children who are eager to learn - Debra Murphy, Head teacher

She said: “The Oak Tree is a lovely school with happy children who are eager to learn, so I am really looking forward to getting to know them better as well as all their parents and carers, and of course developing plans with my new team so that we can really make a difference. The school grounds are so fabulous and a wonderful resource for teaching children about the natural environment. 

“I had already spent some time at the school before the start of the summer holidays, working alongside the former head to familiarise myself with what is going on both within the school and on its doorstep, so now the hard work begins.”

The Ferns Primary Academy in Bolton, a school which was in special measures when Murphy was appointed four years ago, is now rated a good school with outstanding personal development, behaviour and welfare. She has brought about a total transformation resulting in key stage two pupils achieving eight per cent above the national standard in reading, writing and mathematics.  

Debra is an outstanding head teacher and leader, and she brings a massive amount of enthusiasm, expertise and energy to everything she does - Ian Kershaw, Northern Education Trust’s chief executive

Ian Kershaw, Northern Education Trust’s chief executive, added: “Debra is an outstanding head teacher and leader, and she brings a massive amount of enthusiasm, expertise and energy to everything she does. She is committed to raising standards and making a difference for children and I know she will be a huge success at The Oak Tree.”

Northern Education Trust, a multi academy trust, was launched in September 2012 and sponsors 20 academies – ten primary academies and ten secondary – throughout the North East and North West of England.

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