Northern Education Trust

Working to fulfil the potential of young people

New Blyth Academy Principal Looks Confidently Towards the Future

19th Jan 2016

New Blyth Academy Principal Looks Confidently Towards the Future

With the first term in her new post complete and the second now underway, the new principal at The Blyth Academy, Sarah Ramsden, is looking forward confidently to the future.

It has been a period of intense activity since she joined the Academy with her appointment closely followed by the academy?s first monitoring inspection after it had been judged to ?require improvement? in May this year.

Following a major restructuring programme in the early part of 2015, there is now an entirely new senior leadership team including the new principal and a new head of 16-19 programmes plus two staff seconded from the Northern Education Trust (NET), the academy?s sponsor.

Miss Ramsden formerly held the position of vice principal at Dyke House Sports and Technology College in Hartlepool, which is another of NET?s 20 academies which are spread throughout the North East and North West of England.

Though there have been several significant changes made to the running of the academy and its leadership, together with a set of exam results which were not as good as expected last year, Miss Ramsden has every confidence that The Blyth Academy will be judged ?good? within two years. She says:

?When I first took up my post, my priority was to work with the staff and students so they all understood the greater expectations being asked of them. There is a big focus on behaviour, which is a key area for improvement and I have ensured that we have a crisp start to lessons each morning with the new intake of students. At the same time all staff have been empowered to ensure they efficiently tackle the areas earmarked for improvement.

?We have produced an updated academy action plan in line with Ofsted?s recommendations, which covers the five key development areas and serves to highlight how the academy will tackle underperformance and improve outcomes for all students. This will be regularly updated so that all leaders, especially governors and NET officers, know that the academy is making progress in a structured way.

?We also wish to play a much greater role in the community in future and have already hosted a series of extra-curricular events recently which have included a Christmas gathering where people within the community who suffer from dementia were entertained and served afternoon tea by our students, a Remembrance Day Service with support from our local Reverend and representatives from various community groups, a Macmillan coffee morning and a Christmas Show and Fair where more than 100 students performed in dance, music and acting for more than 250 guests.

?I feel privileged to be working as part of NET because there is so much support available to me through the trustees and senior leadership teams at other secondary academies in the NET portfolio, who are all highly experienced education or business professionals.

?We also have some really amazing students and teaching staff at The Blyth Academy, so success is now all about pulling in the right direction. We are forging closer links with all the feeder primary schools and we are integrating more closely with the 12 schools in the Blyth Partnership, which makes me feel confident that we are now on an upward trajectory after quite a challenging period. I would like to thank the students, staff and their families for making me feel so welcome.?

Ian Kershaw, chief executive of the Northern Education Trust, added: ?We were very pleased to be able to appoint Sarah to this post out of a very strong, national field of applicants. She is dedicated and passionate about achieving high standards of behaviour and learning. She will be tireless in implementing the necessary changes at The Blyth Academy to ensure its progress and I have every confidence she will set The Blyth Academy on the road to excellence in all that it undertakes for students.?

The Blyth Academy, which currently has 811 students aged 11-19 years on roll, converted to an academy under the sponsorship of Northern Education Trust on October 1, 2013.