Trustees appoint “outstanding” candidate to lead schools to better times

December 20 2015

A NEW overall head of the troubled federation that runs Yate International Academy will take up the role in February as work continues to get the school back on track.

Adam Williams

A NEW overall head of the troubled federation that runs Yate International Academy will take up the role in February as work continues to get the school back on track.
Adam Williams has been appointed chief executive principal of the Ridings’ Federation of Academies, replacing Beverley Martin whose tenure was short-lived.
She only joined in the spring of 2015 but left at the end of October, having faced criticism of her leadership style.
The federation includes Winterbourne International Academy as well as the Yate campus and a main challenge for Mr Williams will be to address problems at both sites, which resulted in each being assessed by Ofsted inspectors as requiring improvement.
But federation trustees said Mr Williams was an “outstanding” candidate for the job, having led the John Cabot Academy in Kingswood to the highest Ofsted ranking and then getting a school in Bath out of special measures.
Mr Williams said: “It is clear that the community serving the Ridings’ Federation has been through a very challenging year.
“I want to connect with stakeholders, both internally and externally, and ensure that the academies are offering the best they can to all their students at every stage of their educational progress.
 “The federation has the right people and the capability to become a centre of excellence within the South West and it is my intention to make sure that each child fulfils their potential.”
Mr Williams became principal of John Cabot Academy in 2008 when he was only 33, making him one of the youngest principals in the UK. The school’s rating of outstanding was given by Ofsted 18 months later.
 Four years ago he moved to the former Culverhay School in Bath, which was in special measures and facing closure. It became Bath Community Academy (BCA), came out of special measures and was later named the most improved school in the South West.
Mr “Laz” Lazarides, chairman of the Ridings’ Federation of Academies Trust, said there were “significant challenges” ahead but trustees were “thrilled” with the appointment of Mr Williams.
He said: “He was an outstanding candidate and a popular choice among the staff and students who were involved throughout the recruitment process.”
It was Mr Lazarides who spoke of the federation going through “turbulent times” with the Ofsted findings, the departure of Ms Martin and Winterbourne academy teachers going on strike when claiming there had been a breakdown in relations with the academy leadership.
Mr Williams said: “My job is to re-galvanise this federation of schools so that all stakeholders can realise their full potential. I am looking forward to beginning this work.”
The federation has the Yate-based Woodlands Primary Phase and Woodlands Nursery under its umbrella, with Cotswold Edge Sixth Form and Winterbourne Sixth Form Centre also subsidiaries.