New era as school aims to improve

THE start of the academic year has seen a new leadership team appointed to steer the future direction of Calder High School.

Wednesday, 5th September 2012, 2:10 pm

Mark Leicester has taken up the position as interim headteacher and Jeanne Watson has become the school’s executive headteacher.

It is a return to his roots for Mark, who began his teaching career at Calder High and spent 14 years at the school.

Both Mark and Jeanne have been appointed in order to secure continued improvement at the school, which received a critical Ofsted report earlier this year.

Mark said: “Both Jeanne and I are excited by the opportunity to work at Calder High School and are looking forward to working closely with students, staff, parents and the wider community.”

Jeanne will support the strategic leadership of Calder High.

Brooksbank School Sports College will become partners for Calder High’s development work and provide enhanced networking opportunities to support it.

The new leadership arrangements have been put in place for the autumn term in the continued absence of Calder High School’s headteacher Carol Spillane, who is unable to take up her position due to ill health.

A school spokesperson said: “We continue to keep in touch with Mrs Spillane and wish her a speedy recovery.”

Mark, who is deputy headteacher at Brooksbank School, has been a senior manager in three large, successful comprehensive schools.

After spending 14 very happy years at Calder High, he joined Mirfield Free Grammar School as director of main school for three years before taking up the deputy headteacher role at Brooksbank School in 2003.

Jeanne is a long serving headteacher.

Following four years in Oldham, she moved to Calderdale where she enjoyed 14 years as headteacher of Brooksbank School, Calderdale’s largest comprehensive school.

She stepped down as full time headteacher a year ago but retained a role as executive headteacher supporting the newly appointed, permanent headteacher.

In addition, Jeanne is executive headteacher of the Park Lane Learning Trust, a role she retained after Brooksbank worked in Park Lane during 2009-10.

The new leadership team at Calder High also includes Dr Wendy Bradford, who will continue to support the strategic development of the school, concentrating on the sixth form centre.

The spokesperson said: “Together, this will further strengthen leadership capacity at Calder High during the absence of the headteacher and will enable the school to secure effective progress with its development work.”

Last term, Dr Bradford was intrumental in forming the PEACH (Parental Engagement at Calder High) group, which aims to incoporate the student, staff and parent voices into the school’s development plan.

The group is scheduled to meet again in the coming weeks.