Samworth’s new head pledges boost for school’s grade

New Principal at The Samworth Church Academy Mansfield, Principal Barry Found pictured with students
New Principal at The Samworth Church Academy Mansfield, Principal Barry Found pictured with students

A new headteacher at Samworth Church Academy in Mansfield has pledged to raise the school’s Government rating by the end of the year.

Barry Found steps into the top job this term after years spent ‘trouble-shooting’ struggling schools across the north of England as principal of the Outwood Grange Academies Trust.

Mr Found replaces Michael Griffiths as the head of Samworth Academy, which was told to improve its teaching by inspectors for the Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills (OFSTED) after being graded as requiring improvement last year.

Mr Found said: “This is a very different direction for my career. Samworth has made forward progress at a very rapid pace. It has been very successful.

“The students here benefit from a fantastic site and opportunities. I am walking into a school which has the potential to reach the top standard.

“One of the main jobs is looking a how young people learn in terms of parents, students and staff. It’s about how we can use the talents of our students and our staff. For example, looking at how students can learn collaboratively and their behaviour for learning. We’re not talking about doing as they’re told - behaviour for learning is about behaviour in group work which helps students to learn.”

He has already introduced a new marking and assessment policy which helps the students see how well they are doing and has handed out homework diaries to help them organise their work.

He said that he hoped the school would be graded as ‘good’ in the next OFSTED inspection, and that the school would then strive for ‘outstanding.’

The 53-year-old started his career as a science teacher at a school in Barnsley in 1984. He progressed through the ranks from head of science to assistant head to principal of Ripon College before becoming head of Outwood Academy Adwick in Doncaster.

His successes include overseeing Ripon’s improvement from ‘satisfactory’ to ‘good’ in OFSTED’s rating and overhauling exam successes at Outwood Academy Foxhills in Scunthorpe. In 2013 just 24 per cent of students achieved five A*-C GCSE grades including English and maths in 2013, but by this summer 42 per cent had made the grade – putting it above the Government’s floor standard of 40 per cent.