New head aiming for ‘outstanding’ school

Richard Harrison, who will be the new headteacher of The Market Weighton School from September.
Richard Harrison, who will be the new headteacher of The Market Weighton School from September.

A new headteacher has been appointed at The Market Weighton School, and he is determined to turn the comprehensive into an outstanding school.

Richard Harrison, 45, who is currently deputy headteacher at Unity City Academy, in Middlesbrough, will take over the reigns of The Market Weighton School from current headteacher Gavin Chappell in September. Mr Chappell is leaving to take over the helm of Beverley Grammar School.

Richard Harrison with The Market Weighton School pupils (l-r) Sean Smith, Ellie Young, Mia Cosquer and Joshua Huzzard.

Richard Harrison with The Market Weighton School pupils (l-r) Sean Smith, Ellie Young, Mia Cosquer and Joshua Huzzard.

It will be Mr Harrison’s first headship and he is excited about the journey ahead. He said: “I cannot wait. It will be a fantastic opportunity, it’s a great school.

“There’s been massive improvements in recent years. There’s every potential for it become an outstanding school. I have every intention of leading it in that direction as soon as possible. I cannot wait to get started.”

Although the ultimate goal is to receive ‘outstanding’ status from Ofsted, Mr Harrison says it is also important to provide the best opportunities for children in Market Weighton in various ways and making sure they make good progress.

He explained: “Every child should be making good progress and there has been massive improvements in that way and there is further work to do. That comes down to the quality of teaching every day. It comes down to improving the quality of lessons day in day out.

“Education isn’t just about exam results. We need to make sure children have got lots of opportunities to develop the right skills before they leave school.

“Exam results are important but it’s about having, for example, a great music department, sports teams, Duke of Edinburgh Award programme. All these things create a truly outstanding school.”

Mr Harrison has been in teaching for 23 years. He was born in Beverley, lived in Little Weighton and attended South Hunsley School.

Before moving to the Unity City Academy, the science teacher worked at the Macmillan Academy in Middlebrough, which improved from ‘satisfactory’ to ‘outstanding’ during his time there.

He added: “I was brought up in the area. I know there will be supportive parents. I know there is going to be lovely kids

“There is clearly a lot of work being done. There is a nice atmosphere. It’s on a journey of improvement.”

Mr Harrison will be visiting the school once every couple of weeks over the next few months to try and ensure there is a smooth transition when he takes over from Mr Chappell.

Following an Ofsted inspection last June, The Market Weighton School was told it ‘requires improvement’ by the education watchdog. Mr Chappell told the Post in January this year that he believed the school’s GCSE exam results last year prove the school was heading in the right direction.

Mr Chappell was appointed acting headteacher of the comprehensive in 2011 when it was in special measures, and was permanently appointed headteacher in 2013, about a year after the school was taken out of special measures.