New face at the helm of Bingley Grammar School

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Julia Wright who is the new head at Bingley Grammar School Julia Wright who is the new head at Bingley Grammar School

A new head teacher has been appointed at Bingley Grammar School.

Julia Wright, director of teaching and learning at the successful Dixons City Academy, in West Bowling, Bradford, will succeed current head Chris Taylor, 53, who is leaving the district.

Mr Taylor, described as a positive “agent of change” by the school’s chairman of governors Chris Quinn, is departing on Friday for Steyning Grammar School in West Sussex.

He assumed the top job at Bingley Grammar in April 2006. Eight months later schools watchdog Ofsted found its performance to be satisfactory and credited Mr Taylor with implementing improvements in a very short space of time.

Last autumn, inspectors returned, again passing a satisfactory verdict and praising Mr Taylor for harnessing the energy and enthusiasm of school leaders.

Together with governors, the report said he ensured that a large financial deficit, uncovered after the previous inspection, was promptly paid back and despite consequent, severe constraints, the school’s attainment continued to improve.

Mr Quinn said: “Chris is taking up a position at a very prestigious school. I’m absolutely certain he will make a success of it. He’s done a really good job.”

He said the school was able to choose his successor from a shortlist of high- calibre professionals. He said: “Julia has a very good pedigree.

“She’s coming to us from a very good school in Bradford. We’re in a position where we have done very well in our examination results in the past few years but we didn’t get as good an Ofsted report as we wanted. We’re determined we will get an ‘Outstanding’ Ofsted inspection report and feel Julia is exactly what we need.”

Mr Taylor told the Telegraph & Argus that he had planned to leave for the south coast where he had previously taught between 1994 and 2001.

He said: “It’s with some sadness that I leave Bingley Grammar after four years as head teacher.

“It’s been a big privilege and an honour to work with the young people, parents, staff and governors at the school.

“During my time as head teacher we have ensured that students took increasing responsibility for their learning, introducing enterprising learning as a main theme of the school, fully repaid a significant budget deficit, managed two Ofsted inspections, maintained a high performing sixth form, raised GCSE results by 21 per cent and been recognised by the Specialist Schools and Academies Trust as one of the most improve schools in the country.”

Deputy head teacher Luke Weston will take over as acting head before Mrs Wright takes over in September.

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