Colne Valley High’s new headteacher says it has been a complex task moving the school forward ... but he is confident GCSE results will be far better this summer.

Jimmy Christian, one of the academy’s vice principals who has been at the schools for more than three years, was promoted following to the headteacher role after principal Christian Wilcocks left to become principal at Leeds West Academy.

The 36-year-old and his new senior management team will be focussing on improving the school after it was just rated Requires Improvement by Ofsted. Five years ago it went into special measures after it was rated inadequate.

Mr Christian said in a letter to parents: “Colne Valley High School regressed after the previous Ofsted Inspection due to a significant turnover in staff and uncertainty about its future. It was not until September 2015 that we had a full complement of teaching staff enabling gains to be made more quickly. I cannot over-emphasise the complexity of moving a school the size of Colne Valley High, from this inadequate position.

“The judgement ‘Requires Improvement’ is a huge step forward and affords us a secure platform on which to build from and reflects our own evaluation of where the school stands at the present moment in time. We expect much improved GCSE results this year which will provide greater evidence of the improvements made across the school and will help our journey towards ’good’ as quickly as possible. Overall, there is a lot that we can be proud of in the school; this latest report is very clear in highlighting the many ‘Good’ aspects of our provision, but our task is to ensure that our whole provision is consistently good or better.

Lorraine Barker, executive principal of Mirfield Free Grammar
Lorraine Barker, executive principal of Mirfield Free Grammar

Lorraine Barker, Executive Principal of The Mirfield Free Grammar and Sixth Form Multi-Academy Trust which is in overall control of Colne Valley, told parents: “Mr Christian possesses a strong moral purpose, has the highest integrity and exudes aspiration.

“He is totally committed and will drive standards, providing the continuity that is vitally important for the future of the school.

Colne Valley High gets another poor Ofsted report

“I know that you will find in Mr Christian an approachable leader who will communicate with parents and the community to ensure that your sons and daughters are provided with the best possible life chances.

“You will find him supportive of both students and staff encouraging them ‘to be the best they can be’. Equally, he is committed to extra-curricular activities and opportunities.”

Mr Christian’s previous role also included being a senior leader for student support, careers and wellbeing. Prior to that he taught PE for 11 years at The Mirfield Free Grammar and Sixth Form.