New Executive Principal joins Stamford Park Trust

Stamford Park Trust Board is pleased to announce the arrival of Miss Melanie Wicks as Executive Principal (Secondary) from Monday 19th April.

Melanie joins the Trust to support Longdendale and Rayner Stephens High Schools in their improvement journey. She will work alongside the Headteachers at both schools and with Anton McGrath, CEO of Stamford Park Trust and Principal of Ashton Sixth Form College to drive change and improve outcomes for all students.

She joins Stamford Park Trust with a wealth of experience of leading education across a number of schools as a Headteacher and as a strategic School Improvement professional.

Mel stated “I’m extremely excited to join Stamford Park Trust and believe passionately in the values of the Trust. I’m looking forward to working with both Longdendale and Rayner Stephens staff, students, parents and local communities. I’m unashamedly ambitious for all our students. The ambition is to ensure that both secondary schools develop into centres of excellence and innovation, with a focus on creating opportunities for all students to thrive and make progress. “

Mel has over 21 years’ experience in education, a science teacher by background, Mel has worked in a number of schools across Trafford as a middle and senior leader before rising to the position of Headteacher at Wellacre Academy in 2013. Mel has worked with a number of schools across the North West as a leadership and development coach and as a school improvement adviser.

Anton McGrath. CEO of Stamford Park Trust commented, “Mel is an outstanding leader of education with a proven track record of success. We were extremely impressed by her passion, expertise and commitment to student success and ambition at interview. She will be a fantastic addition to the Trust and I look forward to working with her to achieve our ambition for the High Schools and the Trust overall.”

He added, “Mel joins the Trust at an important point in its development and will play a key role in helping to raise aspirations and improve outcomes for all students choosing to study with us at both Longdendale and Rayner Stephens High Schools. It also demonstrates the ambition of the Trust to make a difference in our students’ lives.”

A new year; a new chapter begins

Longdendale and Rayner Stephens High Schools join Ashton Sixth Form College under the banner of Stamford Park Trust.

On the 1st January 2021, Longdendale and Rayner Stephens High Schools transferred from the Aspire Plus Educational Trust to Stamford Park Trust, a Multi-Academy Trust established by Ashton Sixth Form College in February 2019.

The move, approved by Vicky Beer, the Regional Schools’ Commissioner and the Department for Education, sees the two schools join Ashton Sixth Form College in the fledgling Trust to form one organisation spanning two phases of education in the borough.

Anton McGrath, CEO of Stamford Park Trust and Principal of Ashton Sixth Form College commented,

“This is an exciting opportunity to do things differently, to develop collaborative approaches to teaching and learning, and to provide an outstanding quality of education to all students in the Trust. All staff working for Stamford Park Trust are committed to the vision, they support the ethos and culture of the Trust and are prepared to be innovative and do things differently so we can help realise our students’ potential. There is an enormous amount of talent and commitment in the staff at each of the three organisations in the Trust; building on this and developing networks and collaboration will help us all to succeed.” 

He added,

“there is work to do to secure improvement in the schools and address the issues identified by Ofsted in their recent inspections, but we are all ready for the challenge; we wish to include all members of the schools’ communities including students, parents and carers to bring about rapid change.”

Cllr Leanne Feeley, Tameside Council Executive Member for Lifelong Learning, said:

“This is an exciting new chapter for Longdendale and Rayner Stephens High Schools, giving them the opportunity to benefit from Ashton Sixth Form College’s learning, which is rated as outstanding by Ofsted. This collaboration under the Stamford Park Trust will support the academies’ rapid improvements, helping improve the quality of education for our young people. The council will support them throughout their development as we strive to help students achieve their ambitions.”

Stephen Foote, Chair of Stamford Park Trust said, 

“We welcome the two schools into the Trust and we will do everything we can to improve the life chances of the pupils at the Schools as well as working to improve the close collaborations which the schools already have with their local communities.”

Local MP, Jonathan Reynolds stated,

“Quality education needs local organisations with the capacity and leadership to drive up standards. The new Stamford Park Trust, led by the outstanding Ashton Sixth Form College, is an opportunity to create the first class local education we need and deserve in Tameside.”