Mr Peter Kirkbride is excited by the challenge of his new role as Associate Principal at Brooke Weston Academy and he plans to ‘hit the ground running’, bringing fresh ideas while maintaining its outstanding status and reputation for excellence.
He is currently deputy head at Beaumont Leys School in Leicester. Since qualifying as a teacher 12 years ago he was rapidly promoted and has fulfilled a variety of leadership roles. Having completed a Master’s degree in educational leadership and innovation and the National Professional Qualification for Headship, the move to Brooke Weston is a logical progression.
Mr Kirkbride said: ‘Although they are different educational settings there is no doubt that Beaumont Leys and Brooke Weston share the same values, vision and approach to making a difference to young people and changing outcomes, particularly in areas of deprivation or hardship. That is a huge focus of our work as educators.
‘As Brooke Weston has such an enviable reputation my primary challenge will be to maintain that success. My aim is to hit the ground running, which is why I have had a series of visits to familiarise myself with the school, staff and students. Everyone has been incredibly welcoming and I am fortunate that my new colleagues are professional, committed and have a wide range of skills and expertise to draw upon.
‘I am a quick learner, have a good work ethic and am used to dealing with lots of complex situations at once. Brooke Weston offers a new challenge, particularly as it is part of a multi-academy Trust with both a Sixth Form and Teaching School, I can’t wait to start!
‘It is a massive responsibility being entrusted with such a high performing school but all the foundations are already in place; great students and staff, supportive parents and the backing and expertise of the Executive Principal and the Brooke Weston Trust. Becoming Principal in any school nowadays is a complex job, but I am determined that Brooke Weston is going to continue to be a great place to study and work.’
Peter began his career as a geography specialist: ‘There’s an endless list of things I love about teaching. When you are surrounded by students there is normally a lot of laughter and interesting things to talk about and it keeps you young! I love my subject and am planning to continue to teach a few lessons a week. Leading teaching and learning is the most important role of a Principal. It is a good way of getting to know the students and, if I come up with some innovative ideas I have got to implement them myself as well, so time in the classroom a good check and balance and is often a welcome break from the pressures of school leadership.’
Mr Kirkbride is keen to maintain all that is best about Brooke Weston while seeking areas to improve: ‘I appreciate that having an Associate Principal appointed from outside the organisation may initially be unsettling, however I get a sense that staff are enthused about the huge wealth of experience, a fresh pair of eyes, new ideas and some different approaches that I will bring.
‘Brooke Weston is not a school that needs revolution. It is already a school where success is inevitable for students. However like any high-performing organisation they are keen to stay cutting edge and innovative and there are areas that we can improve, enhance or tweak. Nationally education is experiencing huge turbulence and there are lots of changes around assessment, curriculum and course opportunities so I am sure there are ideas and practices that we can implement to enhance what is already an outstanding school.
'Brooke Weston has built an amazing legacy over the past quarter of a century and I am excited and proud to be leading it into the next phase, working alongside the senior team and staff to ensure that that its reputation and achievements go from strength to strength.’
Mr Kirkbride starts his new role in August.