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New Rainford High headteacher Ian Young sets out his vision
7:00pm Thursday 4th October 2012 in News
A NEW headteacher at a secondary school which was hit by a wave of negative publicity has vowed to turn the tide and make it “outstanding”.
Ian Young took the reins at Rainford Technology College last month, determined to create a fresh ethos and direction for staff and pupils.
The school, which is undergoing a £25million rebuilding programme, was engulfed by crisis earlier this year.
Principal, Ruth Greenwood and vice-principal, Sam Wells were suspended while investigations were taking place, though St Helens Council said their decisions to later resign had been “for personal reasons”.
However, after temporary heads were brought in to steady the ship, pupils achieved record A-level and GCSE results in the summer.
Council chiefs have previously identified Rainford as a “coasting school”, which should have been performing much better, and Mr Young’s brief is to make it one of the borough’s best again.
Speaking to the Star this week, he said: “The exam results were excellent and a credit to the staff and the students who had been through a difficult year.
“It shows how the school was moving forward even before I came on board. Now the vision is to have an outstanding school – with an ethos that everyone matters, everyone helps, and everyone succeeds.
“I have a fantastic group of young people and committed staff who want the best.”
Mr Young, who takes on his first headship following a deputy position at Shorefields Technology College in Liverpool, acknowledged that Rainford’s school’s image had suffered damage but maintained that a clear vision and graft will restore its reputation.
He added: “I think Rainford has had a very good reputation in the past and a good reputation is hard won and easily lost in some circumstances.
“We need to have a clear direction and ethos. Every pupil and parent needs to feel they are involved.
“We want to encourage the best possible results – whether that be academic, or in other areas of sport or cultural. It’s about making a difference.”
Mr Young believes the hefty investment to rebuild the majority of the school buildings will provide the platform to achieve his vision.
He added: “We will have a 21st century learning environment that will benefit us for years and years. It is important that it is at the heart of the community and that it is something people are proud of.”
A former rugby union player with Birkenhead and Caldy, he is also keen to build on the school’s sporting achievements.
“I think it is great to have a successful sporting school. We will look to build on that and have some new facilities. Sporting can be a real life changing experience for some.”