New interim headteacher appointed at Sheffield school after predecessor steps down

A new interim headteacher has been appointed at a Sheffield school after his predecessor gave up the role.

By Alana Roberts
Monday, 10 June, 2019, 15:51

Adrian May, the former co-headteacher of Tapton School, has been announced as the new interim headteacher of Bradfield School, near Worrall, taking up his position on June 10.

It comes after his predecessor Dr Gilbert, who was deputy headteacher at Bradfield before becoming headteacher nearly four years ago, said the time had come to relinquish his post in order to ‘move on to a fresh challenge’.

In a letter, he said it had been a privilege to serve Bradfield School and thanked parents for their support.

He added: “The challenges of leading and improving one of England’s worst funded secondary schools have become acute this year.

“As you are more than aware, in recent months, the school has been in discussion with other local schools, the Department for Education and the Regional Schools Commissioner regarding our funding situation and viability as a standalone Academy.

“We have had to make some difficult decisions about the structure of the school to ensure its survival in the absence of a commitment from Government to improve the funding situation.”

Bradfield School hit the headlines in January after setting out plans to close its sixth form, a ‘drastic and regrettable’ move blamed on a lack of money and difficulties with recruiting enough students.

The school ended the 2017/18 academic year with a deficit of £400,000, with an overall deficit of over £800,000 expected by September.

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Staff also walked out in a dispute over compulsory redundancies.

In April it was announced the school was looking to join the Tapton School Academies Trust (TSAT) after being ordered to improve its financial position.

The school is now working with TSAT and relevant professional bodies as the process moves forward.

Tony Moody, Chair of Trustees at Bradfield School, said: “Securing the school’s leadership has been a priority for the school since the absence of the substantive headteacher back in mid-February.

“With the vacation of the headteacher post announced we are now able to appoint an interim headteacher. We need an experienced secondary school leader with a knowledge of working in a multi-academy trust to lead us forward in the next stage of our development.

“We are grateful to TSAT Trustees, and the Governing Body of Tapton School for accommodating our request to second Mr May.”

David Dennis, CEO of Tapton School Academy Trust, said: “We have many areas of alignment with Bradfield School, and this interim solution will further strengthen our established links.

“All parties are working together to ensure that the students of Bradfield School receive the support and development opportunities they deserve, and at the same time are seeking to allay fears of staff and the wider community.”

New interim headteacher Adrian May said: “I am very excited about this opportunity. This is an important time in the schools journey and I look forward to meeting with students, working with the local community and leading the whole team at Bradfield.”