13 February 2019

Dear Parent / Carer

I am writing to you today ahead of my start date on the 25 February 2019, to introduce myself to you as the new Principal of Bruntcliffe Academy.

When I joined The GORSE Academies Trust as Principal of The Farnley Academy a year ago, I did so with an enormous amount of excitement. To me, working within an organisation that shared my values was very important; I believe passionately in the power of education to transform lives. Since its inception, The GORSE Academies Trust has worked tirelessly to ensure that all children, no matter their background, achieve their goals. Of course, a great education stems from great teaching and great leadership. As you will be well aware, colleagues at Bruntcliffe Academy have worked hard to deliver rapid improvement for a school that once delivered an education that was far less than satisfactory. Having spent time at Bruntcliffe Academy, I have seen excellent teaching, supported by fantastic support staff. There is no doubt that the recent excellent Ofsted report for the academy was well deserved.

By means of a brief overview of my career to date, I began working in Education just over a decade ago. Beginning as a Teacher of Business Studies and Mathematics at Abbey Grange Academy, I quickly rose through the ranks and after five years at the school, I left to become an Assistant Principal at Leeds West Academy. Achieving many great things in my role at Leeds West Academy, I was asked to support other schools in the trust through a Vice Principal role working across the White Rose Academies Trust. After much hard work, I gained the position as Principal at Leeds East Academy where I oversaw the complete and total transformation of a once failing secondary school in Seacroft, into a school where children flourished and achieved excellent academic outcomes. In 2017, the academy achieved results that moved it from the bottom 5% of secondary schools to the top 15% in just one year. The success I secured for students at Leeds East Academy has now been built upon at The Farnley Academy where through the outstanding work of my team, and the unrelenting support of our colleagues within the GORSE Academies Trust, the academy is on track to achieve its best ever GCSE results this summer by a significant margin.

Continuing my journey now at Bruntcliffe Academy you can be assured that I will have the best interests of your child at heart at all times. The decisions I will make in the coming months, alongside Mrs Griffiths (Executive Principal: 11-16 Education) and Sir John Townsley (Chief Executive Officer), will be about maximising the potential of your child in all aspects of their development. As someone who in life many people have supported and championed, I know all too well the power of having someone believe in you, and this is something that I hold dear to my own educational philosophy. To me, examination outcomes are important, but they will never be more important than the creation of a truly rounded individual, who knows themselves well, and is given the life skills to succeed in their future. As Principal of Bruntcliffe Academy, I will work to ensure that every child receives nothing less than a first-class, well balanced education and that everyone leaves our academy at the end of Year 11 with a passport to achieve their dreams, whatever they might be.

In my first few weeks in post, I will write to you in a very open and honest way. I will let you know about the great things that I will undoubtedly see but I will also draw your attention to those things we need to work on together to improve. I will be interested to hear the views of our staff, students and parents and very much look forward to my first meeting with academy Prefects in a few days’ time.

I look forward to leading Bruntcliffe Academy in the next stage of its journey; which will see the Academy build on its recent Ofsted success and gain an Outstanding judgement in its next inspection.

Yours faithfully

Mr C Stokes