A warm Woldgate welcome for executive headteacher

Ian 'Donnell
Ian 'Donnell

Staff and students at Woldgate College in Pocklington have given a warm welcome to executive headteacher Ian O’Donnell.

Mr O’Donnell, who is headteacher of Longcroft School in Beverley, will act as temporary headteacher of Woldgate College for two days per week until headteacher Jeff Bower is well enough to return.

Mr O’Donnell said: “I am thrilled to be asked to serve as an executive headteacher at Woldgate College. Woldgate is a particularly friendly school and everyone has made me feel very welcome.

“The school has already made huge strides in meeting its post-OFSTED targets and this is evident in the progress students are making in lessons. I have been impressed with the energy and enthusiasm of both the staff and students and I look forward to working with everyone to ensure Woldgate continues to go from strength to strength.”

Mr O’Donnell’s appointment follows Mr Bower’s forced absence from school due to illness.

Chair of Governors Graham Cook stated: “Everyone here at Woldgate sends their best wishes to Mr Bower and we hope he will return to work soon. In the meantime, we felt it was important that the school had overall leadership so we decided to appoint an executive headteacher on a temporary basis.

“Mr O’Donnell came highly recommended and has a proven track record of success at Longcroft School.”

A look into Mr O’Donnell’s history reveals that teaching is his second career.

Having left school at 16 he trained as a technical apprentice in the aerospace industry during which time he graduated with a Degree in Engineering.

After a short spell in the automotive industry in the 1990s Mr O’Donnell changed careers and qualified as a teacher in 1994. He has spent his entire teaching career working in five schools on the north and south banks of the Humber.

The appointment follows a recent visit from East Riding Local Authority inspectors as part of the post-OFSTED development plan.

During the visit, the inspectors were impressed with the progress made by Woldgate staff and students in exceeding the targets set out in the plan. In particular, it was found that 87% of students could demonstrate progress over time in their written work, and 84% of students were actively engaged in learning at all times during lessons.