Headteacher of Colchester Academy steps down as new sponsor Bright Tribe takes over the school

Former headteacher of the Colchester Academy Barry Hersom pictured with pupils when the announcement

Former headteacher of the Colchester Academy Barry Hersom pictured with pupils when the announcement of new sponsors Bright Tribe was made earlier this year. - Credit: Sarah Lucy brown

The headteacher of a north Essex school with “serious weaknesses” has stepped down with immediate effect as a new academy sponsor takes over.

Colchester Academy's Principal Barry Hersom.

Colchester Academy's Principal Barry Hersom. - Credit: Andrew Partridge

Bright Tribe took over sponsorship of the Colchester Academy, in Greenstead, on Monday as staff and pupils returned from the Easter holidays.

Barry Hersom, principal at the school for the past five years since the former Sir Charles Lucas School converted to an academy under the Colchester Institute’s sponsorship, has stood down from the helm with immediate effect.

The school was rated as inadequate with “serious weaknesses” following an Ofsted inspection in July 2014, though a monitoring inspection in November last year found much improvement had been made.

Mr Hersom said it was the right time to leave as the new sponsors took over.

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He said: “The transfer to Bright Tribe is an exciting new beginning for the academy. Now is the right time for me to stand aside and allow the next generation to take the lead.

“I am confident that as part of Bright Tribe the academy will provide a brilliant education for our young people.”

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Mr Hersom added he was not yet planning to retire, but had not decided what he would do next.

Gary Kelly, Bright Tribe senior regional director, said: “We are absolutely delighted to welcome Colchester Academy into the Bright Tribe family and we’re excited to start working with the staff, students, parents and the local community to ensure that the school provides an outstanding and broad education for all students.”

Assistant principal Fiona Pierson will become acting headteacher, while Linda Bamford, former head of the predecessor Sir Charles Lucas school and a centrally-employed executive headteacher with Bright Tribe will work with the school for an interim period.

Colchester Institute began talks with the Department for Education last summer about finding a new sponsor as it sought to focus on its own operations.

Bright Tribe has schools in Cumbria, Greater Manchester, and four in Suffolk.

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