'Troubleshooting' Padiham headteacher to retire

Burnley and Pendle Citizen: Retiring head Bob Wakefield Retiring head Bob Wakefield

A ‘TROUBLESHOOTING’ head tasked with improving a Padiham high school is set to retire.

Bob Wakefield was brought in to Shuttleworth College in 2011 to speed up improvements shortly after the school was brought out of special measures.

The school has not yet achieved a good Ofsted rating, but inspectors said Mr Wakefield has ‘improved progress’ in his time at the school.

Education bosses said his retirement would be a sad loss to the area.

Shuttleworth was created under the Building Schools for the Future scheme, but shortly after opening the headteacher Andrew Mackenzie quit and the school was placed into special measures in March 2008.

Mr Wakefield, a science teacher, has more than 30 years’ teaching experience and gained a reputation for accomplishing tough tasks with Manchester schools such as Moston Brook High School.

He was also pivotal in setting up Alder Community High School after failing Hattersley High School closed down.

Now he will step down in September after three years at the helm to an as-yet-unnamed successor.

The role is being advertised in The Times Education supplement with a £70,000 to £80,000 salary and with a discretionary £6,000 bonus.

It comes just months after Burnley was revealed as the worst performing borough in Lancashire at both GCSE and Key Stage Two level in 2012-13.

During his tenure the school remained at ‘satisfactory/requires improvement’ but local figures said he moved the school forward.

Sally Cryer, head at Unity College, said: “I have worked with Bob and I am very sad to see him go. He has decided the time has come to retire. He has moved the school forward over the past couple of years and he is a sad loss to the town.”

Brunshaw ward councillor Tony Harrison said: “I think he has done a really good job. Hopefully his successor will do as well.”

The school’s last Ofsted report in 2012 said: “The school is improving in many ways and examination results are rising. Strong leadership and management has led to significant improvements.”

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