Letter from the Executive Headteacher

Letter from the Executive Headteacher


Dear Parent or Carer

I writing to you today to introduce myself. I commenced my new role as Executive Headteacher of Newcastle Bridges School and Mary Astell Academy on 1 June 2020 and thus am just setting out on my second week in post.

There is a more detailed biography available on both schools’ websites but briefly I bring to the post a wealth of experience gained in mainstream secondary schools across the region. This experience includes 20 years in school leadership and most recently 11 years as a Headteacher in Gateshead.

I am very excited to be joining Prosper Learning Trust at a crucial stage in its development and as the Trust continues to extend its influence on the provision of alternative education across the North East. I hope that my previous experience and the expertise built up over 30 years in the profession can help me to make a positive difference to the lives of the young people we work with every day.

Let me tell you a little bit about my role. As Executive Headteacher I will assume ultimate responsibility for the outcomes and educational experience of young people in both schools. I will work alongside the existing Heads of School, Mr Stafford (NBS) and Mrs Spowart (MAA) to ensure that the young people in our care continue to receive the very best provision. That they are guided and supported to achieve their ambitions, whether that be in terms of their educational outcomes or the progression onto the next stages of their lives in education, training or employment. I will divide my time equally between the two schools and will have a base in both. One other crucial aspect of the role will be to explore ways in which the schools can work together to share experience, expertise and resources in ways that will benefit young people in both settings and help maximise the positive impact we can have on their experience and well-being whilst in our care.

My role will also include a little bit of work on behalf of the wider Trust but I intend that most of my time and effort will be concentrated on leading and supporting both schools on a daily basis.

It is our intention as a Trust and as schools to communicate with parents and the wider community on a regular basis, both to keep you informed of developments and to consult with you when appropriate and relevant.

In the meantime, however, if you want to get in touch about any issue concerning your child’s education, my e-mail address is [email protected] or I can usually be reached by telephone at one of the schools. Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have a pressing concern and you want to discuss it with me.

Finally, I would like to reiterate just how delighted I am to have joined Prosper Learning Trust and to be working across both of these fantastic schools.

Kind regards

Chris Richardson

Executive Headteacher