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Tuesday, 02 September 2014

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Interim headteacher appointed new principal of Furness Academy in Barrow

FURNESS Academy in Barrow has appointed its interim head as the new executive principal.

Des Herlihy
Des Herlihy

The Board of Governors at Furness Academy has announced that Des Herlihy, who was appointed interim headteacher in June, will remain at the academy as executive principal until July 2015. Former principal, Douglas Blackledge, tendered his resignation at the beginning of December.

The governors say Mr Herlihy’s appointment is extremely good news for both Furness Academy students and teaching staff who have benefited from his wide experience as a “headteacher together with his firm, yet measured approach, during what has been a challenging time for the school.”

Furness Academy wad placed in special measures after an inspection in May. Mr Herlihy’s interim appointment followed the suspension of Mr Blackledge in June when the governors awarded a contract to find an interim headteacher to Northern Education, a specialist education consultancy which has a total understanding of school improvement processes.

Mr Herlihy had recently retired after 16 years as head of Royton and Compton School in Oldham, a specialist science college.

Furness Academy was required to develop a post Ofsted action plan and transfer the school’s 1,008 pupils and staff into its brand new, purpose-designed building at the start of this academic year.

Chairman of governors, Ted Creighton, said the board had worked closely with Mr Herlihy and Northern Education since June to bring stability to the school.

Mr Creighton said: “We are delighted that Mr Herlihy will remain with us until 2015. In the relatively short time since he arrived he has made an enormous impact in tackling some of the issues around teaching and learning which are required to move the school out of special measures.

“It makes sense for him to remain at the academy and continue the great steps forward he has already taken and we are looking forward now to a period of continued all round improvement against a backdrop of greater certainty.

“Moving forward, we hope that parents and the community can give Mr Herlihy and Furness Academy their wholehearted support.”

Mr Herlihy said: 'Everybody - staff, students, parents, governors and sponsors - associated with Furness Academy, is focused on our students achieving high levels of learning and progress and I am pleased that we are moving in the right direction.

“We are fortunate to have constantly available the services and experience of Northern Education to draw upon and this enables us to access expertise across their very wide network.

“Our hard work, sustained on a daily basis, and then over time, will bring success. The reward is seeing young people transform their future prospects through a good education. I would like to thank everybody at Furness Academy for their efforts. I would also like to thank the many people I have met across the community for their interest and support.”

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