Associate head steps in to help troubled school

Headteacher Kathy McNicholas, who is taking time off school
Headteacher Kathy McNicholas, who is taking time off school
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An associate headteacher has stepped in to help at a troubled Lancashire school.

Parents were told that Tony Perry would be working closely with leaders at Leyland St Mary’s Catholic Technology College, which was going through a “difficult period”.

Headteacher Kathy McNicholas is taking time off for personal reasons, and deputy head Chris Meldrum has become acting head.

In a letter to parents and guardians he said: “I would like to assure you that I have continued the work started by Miss McNicholas and that I am working closely with the governing body, Lancashire local authority and the Liverpool Archdiocese to ensure that we deliver the highest quality of education for the pupils of our school community.

“I am therefore pleased to be able to inform you that Mr Tony Perry will be working closely with us as an associate headteacher, starting this week on a part time basis.

“Mr Perry is a recently retired Catholic headteacher, who led his Catholic high school to an Ofsted grading of outstanding.

“He also has recent experience in working with schools to improve standards.

“His role in school will be to work alongside myself as acting headteacher and the rest of the leadership team.”

The school was devastated by fire in September last year, and Mr Meldrum said: “Since the fire we have gone through a challenging journey, and I am currently developing a presentation to explain what has happened since September 2013 and how we will be moving forward.”

He said the presentation would be shared on the school website, and an open evening would be held at the school. Mr Meldrum praised the current year 11 pupils and said: “I want the pupils to know that they are a truly amazing group of young people.

“I have enjoyed many discussions with a wide range of them and I am always impressed by their maturity.

“It has been an honour and I am humbled by them. I truly believe this is the greatest year 11 that I have had the pleasure to work with.”

He added: “I appreciate all of your comments and I would like to assure you that I am working to ensure that Leyland St Mary’s Catholic High School provides the very best ethos and education for your children.”