Josh Hunt, one of the first chaplains in a non-religious affiliated secondary school, says staff and students at Felixstowe Academy – part of the Academies Enterprise Trust – have “embraced” his new role.
Mr Hunt joined the Suffolk academy last September after eight years as a youth worker, during which he completed a degree in youth work and ministry, and then a masters in pastoral ministry at Oasis College in London.
On his new appointment, he says: “The school uses three phrases to describe my role. First, I am here to support staff and students, second, to explore faith and last, to build a community.
“This has included playing a part in spiritual, moral, social and cultural projects across all age groups.”
He says the new role is going well. “Because it is such a new position and no other non-faith state schools has this kind of full-time chaplaincy, I didn’t really know what to expect. But the students and staff have embraced it and I’ve really enjoyed it so far.”
Carl Salt has taken over as the new headteacher of the Grace Academy in Darlaston, West Midlands.
Formerly of Aston Manor Academy, Mr Salt’s first career was in engineering before switching to education 17 years ago.
He studied engineering at Wolverhampton College for five years and then went back as a mature student to complete a BEd in design and technology.
His first job was at Great Barr School before he moved to College High School and Bartley Green School, all in the West Midlands.
He says that his immediate plans for Grace Academy are to ensure that all students make good or better than expected progress.
He also wants to expand the school’s sixth form “where we are already seeing an increase in student numbers compared to previous years”.
Part of that expansion will include the introduction of a football academy that will combine academic studies with a football coaching programme and competitive matches in a local college league.
The academy will be led with Andy Sinton, a former England international.
Andrea Smith has been appointed the first head of St Matthew’s Church of England Primary and Nursery Academy in Derriford, Plymouth, which opens in September. She was head of St Edward’s Church of England Primary School, also in Plymouth.
The new academy will be part of St Christopher’s Primary Multi-Academy Trust.
Ms Smith, who has more than 22 years teaching and leadership experience, says that it will be a “unique and exciting opportunity” to build a school from scratch. “We want to create a close knit learning environment with a family feel, irrespective of size.”
She says it will be “a massive wrench” to leave St Edwards. “It has been a pleasure to work with the pupils and parents and I’m incredibly proud of the team and the legacy that we have created together.”
St Christopher’s trust is now recruiting teaching and support staff for the new academy.