New headteacher says change is achievable

The new headteacher of Driffield School and Sixth Form is confident the challenges which face the school are achievable and believes there are many positives on which to build. He has also pledged his commitment to rebuilding the trust of parents and the community.

Dave McCready was speaking after just two weeks in post as interim executive headteacher, following the resignation of former head Simon Jones. Mr McCready, headteacher from Wolfreton School in Kirk Ella, brings a wealth of experience in supporting schools and has successfully led improvements in a number of schools across the East Riding.

Former headteacher Mr Jones announced his resignation just over a week after Ofsted inspectors visited the school on Manorfield Road earlier this month. The Ofsted report is expected to be published after Easter, however in the meantime Mr McCready said it was very much business as usual.

He told the Wolds Weekly: “My initial impressions have been favourable. On the whole the students I have met have been well-meaning and polite and welcoming of me, and the same can be said of the staff.

“There are some things which need to change and once the report is published, which we believe will be after Easter, we will publish an action plan.

“It is really important we work hard to get the trust back from the parents and
the community – that will be an important part of what we do in the coming months.

“But from what I have seen change is achievable. “The students in Year 11 are working hard preparing for their exams and the sixth formers are doing well.

“I am still fact finding now but it is very much business as usual here in terms of the education of the students. We are functioning as normal, but I appreciate there is a lot of uncertainty out there.”

He added that the future would be influenced by the Government’s new Education and Adoption Bill, which was passed earlier this year, and that once the Ofsted report is published the school would be in a position to say more.

“The school does have issues but they are not insurmountable. We are working together to move the school forward and improve the trust of the parents and the community,” he said.

“The Local Authority will be involved in implementing a plan for the school to make sure it gets back to where it was; it was only just over four years ago that the school in its last Ofsted was on the cusp of being outstanding. There are a lot of favourable things about the school, but also things which need to be changed.”

Mr McCready was designated as a Local Leader of Education (LLE) in 2009 and since that time he has undertaken school-to-school support in a number of schools across the East Riding of Yorkshire. In June 2010 he was appointed executive headteacher of Howden School, which had just been placed in special measures. He and his team were credited with moving the school out of this category within one academic year by providing leadership and management expertise.

Last week Howden School received a good in its latest Ofsted inspection. Mr McCready said: “I am delighted for Howden. It demonstrates it is possible for a school to move on after a setback.”

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