New executive head for four Harlow primaries in Burnt Mill Trust

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Each school will still have its own leader, with the new title of head of school.

Mr Jackson will help the Trust with its mission to bring the primary schools up to and beyond the Ofsted-rated Outstanding standard of Burnt Mill Academy, in First Avenue.

He will take up his post in September, initially on a year-long secondment from his role as headteacher of Gallions Primary School, in Newham, East London.

He said: “I started at Gallions when it was a brand new school 15 years ago. It was a challenging area, with 95% social housing, high level of value crime and a high level of unemployment. I joined when we were faced with challenging behaviour, challenging attitudes to learning and no parental involvement.

“In 2012, the school was named the seventh most improved in the UK and the most improved school in London – making an improvement of 61% points in just three years. That was achieved through pure determination and clear vision, offering a rich educational experience based around the creative arts.”

Mr Jackson will work closely with BMAT chief executive and Burnt Mill headteacher Helena Mills. Like Miss Mills, he is intent on developing the whole child and not just focusing on exam results.

He said: “Of course I want children to be able to read and write to the very best of their ability, but I also want them to stand out in a crowd, to be confident and very employable in the future. We will be offering our children a wide range of experiences, getting them out whenever we can to the theatre, galleries, museums, into London and further afield and inviting visitors in to work with them.”

Mr Jackson is keen for best practise in each of his primaries to be shared among the family of schools, reassuring his teams: “My role is going to be very much about getting some stability and listening to the strengths which already exist, building on these strengths and sharing them. It won’t be about going in and making sweeping changes, but every minute we waste is a minute of our children’s education wasted and that’s not acceptable. We want to provide the very best for our children; the best teachers, the best facilities and the best curriculum so they can become world-class. It is a big ask, but we have no choice but to achieve it.”

Father-of-two Mr Jackson, who is spending time on the patch now so he can hit the ground running in September, said: “The idea of having a secondary school linked to its feeder primaries and to watch children from the age of three right through their educational journey is really exciting. It will enable us to provide an even smoother transition from primary to secondary; working in true partnership and not just at the end of Year 6, but throughout a child’s primary school years.

“I believe this is a model which will be replicated in the future.”

Of his unique new role, he said: “This feels like the natural next step for me; the next challenge. I’m really excited about working with enthusiastic heads of schools; passionate people who can make a real difference. I can’t wait to work with the staff to drive the schools forward and to have an impact on children from similar working class backgrounds to my own.”

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