New year, new leader at Yate Academy as principal moves on

January 30 2018

YATE Academy is going through yet another change after Paul Skipp stepped down as the school’s principal.

YATE Academy is going through yet another change after Paul Skipp stepped down as the school’s principal.

Mr Skipp had been in the role since September 2015, when it was part of the Ridings’ Federation of Academies.

But it formally broke away from the federation at the beginning of the current academic year and became part of the Greenshaw Learning Trust.

The start of the new era was seen as an opportunity to move on from troubled times surrounding the Ridings’ Federation, with which Yate had had a nine-year association.

Darren Reynolds, chairman of governors at the school, said Mr Skipp had “led the academy through a range of positive changes”, including its transfer into the Greenshaw Learning Trust, but that he felt it was now the right time to pursue other senior leadership interests.

The secondary school part of the academy is now being led by Isabel Ambrose, while the primary phase, Woodlands, is in the charge of Kirsty Borrill.

Mr Skipp said: “I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at the school since I first joined in April 2015 as deputy principal.

“The ensuing years have seen many changes but I now feel the school is in a great position from which to move from strength to strength.

“It has been an absolute pleasure to work with so many fantastic young people, many of whom have gone on to achieve wonderful things and are a huge credit to the school and their community.”

He thanked parents and carers for the support they had given him and the staff and governors at Yate for their hard work and dedication.

More than two years ago, the academy was told by education watchdog Ofsted that it required improvement.

It was one of a number of problems facing the Ridings’ Federation during a difficult period - its Winterbourne International Academy (WIA) had also been poorly rated by Ofsted, it had financial problems and lost two consecutive short-lived chief executive principals.

The Department for Education decided the Yate academy should be “re-brokered” and transferred into a trust that could provide the support the school required, leading to the move to Greenshaw.

Meanwhile, WIA is about to formally join the locally-based Olympus Academy Trust as work continues to get it out of special measures.