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Academies trust chair welcomes MPs visit to high performing primary school
16 May 2019
by Rebecca Dutton

L to R – Brendan Wignall, Damian Hinds MP, two Cheshire West and Chester councillors, Fiona Whittaker, Head of Oakview Academy, Steve Docking, CEO of NWAT and another CWAC councillor

The headmaster of a Shropshire College has welcomed a visit by the Education Secretary to show him the transformation of an academy in Cheshire, which he oversaw.

Brendan Wignall, who is chairman of the North West Academies Trust (NWAT) as well as headmaster at Ellesmere College, met Damian Hinds MP at Oak View Academy Winsford last month (April 26).

He said: “Formerly Greenfields Primary School, it was statistically the second worst school in the country in terms of attainment and progress when NWAT took over five years ago.

“But the latest government progress measures, released in September 2016, reveal that Oak View’s children are now amongst the top 5% in the country for reading progress and top 30% in writing and maths.

“It has been an honour to be involved in this transformation as chair of NWAT and there are many aspects of my role there that I can learn from as headmaster here at Ellesmere College in Shropshire.

“It is great for the College to have these links with the Academy Trust and we can share a lot of expertise.

“Mr Hinds was keen to know about my experience in education, both at NWAT and Ellesmere, and said what he saw on the day was ‘inspiring’ with committed leadership.”

He added: “The Trust had three politicians visit all on the same day, entirely coincidentally.

“Michael Gove was at Grosvenor Park CofE Academy, a primary school in Chester, and Esther McVey was at Rudheath Senior Academy, our secondary school in Winsford.

“To have these MPs visit NWAT schools all on the same day shows just how progressive the work we are doing is and how we can be a beacon in the education sphere.”