A new head teacher has taken over at the first school in Mid Sussex to become an academy - and new classrooms could be on the cards too.
Warden Park Academy welcomed Jonathan Morris this term while also applying for planning permission for a new drama hut and four classrooms.
The drama facility would give a new base for West Sussex Bridge Club which currently shares the school’s existing drama hut, using it in the evenings and weekends.
The bridge club is considering paying £250,000 towards replacing the long-standing ‘temporary building’ used for drama, which is also similar to aging ‘temporary’ buildings which constitute the geography department.
In both cases the school says the temporary buildings are affected by “building condition, health and safety issues which impact on teaching and learning”.
Warden Park in Cuckfield led the way locally when the government set its academy policy in motion two years ago. Former head Steve Johnson spearheaded the move backed by governors who became known as directors. Mr Johnson retired last term but stayed long enough to see his replacement installed.
For the last seven years Mr Morris has led St Wilfrid’s in Crawley which is now in the top six per cent of schools nationally for student progress with an Ofsted ‘Outstanding’ for leadership and management. He is also a former deputy head teacher of St Paul’s Catholic College in Burgess Hill and lives in Mid Sussex.
He said: “I am quite clear on and experienced in leading the strategies that result in outstanding outcomes and opportunities for young people and their education. Attention to things such as attendance, punctuality and uniform underpin quality teaching and learning and assessment, along with respectful relationships across the community. I am excited by the prospect of working with a visionary Board of Directors and excellent colleagues at both academies to ensure that the children in our care receive the very highest standards of education.”
Mr Morris said he appreciated the rich tradition and heritage of Warden Park which combined seamlessly with contemporary approaches to learning and teaching.
He said: “The school is renowned for its quality provision along with superb and wide-reaching extra-curricular opportunities for the students, ensuring a truly holistic education is provided.
“I am committed to building on these strengths and will be relentless in pursuing excellence in all spheres that make Warden Park such a special school.”