It will be a case of evolution not revolution under the new headship of Craig Jansen at Holmfirth High School.
He took over as executive headteacher last month, being only the fourth leader of the 1,300-pupil school since it opened in 1959.
He’s aware that he’s got quite a reputation to live up to, following in the footsteps of a trio of Huddersfield’s education luminaries: Charles Cocks (1959-84), Ian Macpherson (1984-2000) and National Leader of Education Dr Andy Williams, who stepped down as executive head in summer.
Craig, 44, takes over a school in rude health. It is one of country’s elite, graded Outstanding in every area by Ofsted, with a waiting list of pupils and an excellent reputation within the local community.
He intends to take a leaf out of his predecessors’ books by continuing with the school’s successful policies and introducing small improvements where he can.
Originally from Stalybridge, Craig is married to Tracey with a five-year-old daughter, Lily. He studied banking, insurance and corporate finance at university before converting to teaching almost 20 years ago.
“I found banking boring and wanted to do something more rewarding,” he said. “I did my PGCE and found that the time flew by in school. You know you have found your vocation when the time passes so quickly.”
He was living in Worcester and working at Moseley School, Birmingham, when he applied for the Holmfirth job, and was impressed from the moment he stepped through the door for his interview. In the summer he and his family moved from Worcester to Holmbridge.
“My first impressions were extremely positive. Students were extremely polite and engaging and staff were very welcoming and friendly; there was a community atmosphere inside school.
“Holmfirth High is clearly performing very effectively because of the high quality of staff and the opportunities it provides for its students.
“One of the things which is particularly exciting and appealing is the extent of the engagement and work with the community.
“The new national curriculum presents a big challenge, but we will ensure that these changes are implemented to the benefit of the children and the community and we will ensure that students have a breadth of opportunities.
Andy Williams added: “I have every confidence that the governors have made an excellent appointment in bringing Craig to the school.
“Outstanding never means perfect, there are always things that can be improved and Craig is a good analyst who will look at our strengths and weaknesses.
“A big part of the continuity and success at Holmfirth is that we have always looked at what is best for our children and the community when we have implemented the many changes, and I’m sure that will continue.”
Craig added that the strong links with North Huddersfield Trust School and other partners would continue to flourish and grow.