New head teacher for Winterbourne Academy
WINTERBOURNE Academy is to have a new head teacher.
Olympus Academy Trust, which runs the school, has announced that Victoria Boynton, who joined the trust last year to take charge of the planned Lyde Green Secondary School, will be taking charge at Winterbourne from September.
The trust said current head Jason Beardmore, who has been in charge for four years, was moving to Devon to "pursue other opportunities closer to his family home".
Mrs Boynton is already working alongside Mr Beardmore.
She was appointed as Lyde Green's first head last October ahead of its planned opening near Emersons Green in 2023; its first Year 7 pupils had been due to start in temporary accommodation on the Winterbourne Academy site this September.
But delays in the building project mean Lyde Green will not open before 2024, and 33 of the pupils who applied to start there in September will now be joining Winterbourne instead.
The trust said "the irony will not be lost" on those pupils that they would now have the same head teacher they would have had at Lyde Green.
The trust said the decision for Mrs Boynton to come to Winterbourne "was in part related to the delay in building and opening, as there is no funding for a Headteacher post in the interim and we need to deploy the skills of a Headteacher where they are needed now".
The trust added: "Vic is excited at the new challenge ahead of her at Winterbourne and will still have close ties to Lyde Green, with Winterbourne Academy the likely post-16 destination for future Lyde Green students."
Mr Beardmore said it had been "an absolute pleasure and privilege" to work at the school.
He said: "Through the hard work of my staff I have witnessed breath-taking improvement in both scale and pace, as we have constantly strived to put Winterbourne back into its rightful place on the map in the local community.
"Some of the most impressive and meaningful changes for me have been in culture across the student and staff body.
"The staff body I now see before me possesses and demonstrates vigour, initiative, cohesion and above all belief.
"Our students are what the job is all about: they are quite simply wonderful and I shall miss them.
"I would like to thank the many, many parents who have joined with parent voice activities and those who have been by our side providing constant moral support and emails, calls and letters of encouragement in the journey we have taken.
"Although I have been in the profession for 30 years and have also led other schools as head-teacher, nothing compares to my time at Winterbourne, which will stay with me permanently.
"I am very confident that you will continue to hear more about how we have succeeded in 'making Winterbourne great again' and that the school will scale new heights in the future with Victoria Boynton at the helm as head-teacher, with such strong deputies and senior leaders at her side."