A Principal’s View

It is a very great privilege and honour to be Principal of Whitburn Church of England Academy.
In April 2009, we moved in to our wonderful new building, situated on a beautiful cliff top site in the attractive, coastal village of Whitburn, mid-way between South Shields and Sunderland.  The academy has 969 pupils on roll and is a mixed 11 – 16 Academy.  Our pupils enjoy fantastic facilities, which support our high aspirations for them.  The academy has a strong academic tradition and pupils achieve very well in their GCSEs.
We hold a specialism in Maths and Computing and our ICT facilities are second to none in the region.
We became an Academy on 1st January 2011, being the first outstanding VA school to convert.  However, regardless of our title, we are a school at the heart of the Whitburn community and will continue to operate as the local secondary school for Whitburn and the surrounding villages.
Partnership with parents and carers is a strength of the academy and something we value highly.  Links with the local community are well developed and there is a very committed and active Parent Teacher Association (PTA).  We have a substantial track record of working effectively with other South Tyneside schools to help raise standards across the borough. 
We are a Church of England Academy in the Diocese of Durham.  Our ethos statement confirms our determination to provide an inclusive education for the local community in which the rights of all are respected, irrespective of personal beliefs. 
In February 2009, Ofsted praised our “consistently high” standards, the “exemplary” behaviour of pupils and found everything from leadership and management to teaching and learning to be “outstanding.”  The report said: “The school lives up to its vision and motto of ‘Excellence for All’.  The vision is shared by leaders, staff, governors and pupils and is firmly based on the highest expectation of every pupil’s achievement, personal development and wellbeing.”
“Each and every learner is considered as an individual and this principle is at the heart of all that is done.  There are no limits for any pupil and the school strives hard to remove any potential barriers to success.”  Senior and middle leaders, governors and staff were recognised as “highly effective.”
There was also praise for the “very strong” contribution pupils make to both the school and the community, and for the “considerable” funds pupils have raised for charities in this country and around the world.
We take a very professional approach to all aspects of our work; there is no complacency from anyone despite the kind words of those who know our work.  Our focus is always on teaching and learning; lessons provide all pupils with challenge, support, rigour and pace in proper measure.  We recognise that there are no shortcuts to quality in education; the way to success lies in high expectations, thorough planning, scrupulous monitoring and review and sheer hard work.
Our continued success is a well deserved testimony to the dedication and efforts of our pupils, staff, parents, carers and governors.