I would like to give you an update on what the Board of Directors has decided in terms of leadership for Murrayfield Primary Academy. We have advertised internally within Paradigm Trust for an interim principal for the school. This appointment will be until December 2018.
From our early conversations we know that there are a number of people at Murrayfield and from across the Trust who would be enthusiastic about this opportunity, so we are expecting a good choice of quality applicants. We hope to make the appointment by the end of June so that you, as parents and carers, are clear about who is leading the school. The successful candidate will work very closely with Bill Holledge and myself to ensure a smooth transition and to continue the school’s journey of school improvement.
Chair of the Board
Amanda will be buried at a private, family only ceremony in the next few weeks. Before that, Paradigm Trust will compile all the messages of condolences that it has received and present them to her family.
We will also be organising events to remember Amanda and celebrate her life and achievements for the children and adults across all the schools. We will be able to update you further as these plans make progress.
As of Monday 5 June, there will be books of condolences in the school. It is also possible to send messages of condolences via email – firstname.lastname@example.org. All messages will be read and then collated to be passed back to Amanda’s family.
The directors of Paradigm Trust have decided that Bill Holledge will be in charge of Murrayfield Primary on an interim basis until further notice. Bill is an experienced primary headteacher with a strong track record of school improvement who has worked closely with Amanda for more than ten years. He has the full support of the Board. Bill will work closely with the existing senior team at Murrayfield, including experienced leaders from across Paradigm Trust.
The Board is very aware that there is a need for stability and consistency at Murrayfield and is working to ensure that this is delivered.
It is with tremendous sadness that I have to tell you that Amanda died yesterday. While on holiday in France earlier this week, Amanda suffered a fall incurring serious head injuries which proved fatal. I know I speak for us all when I say that our thoughts and prayers are with her husband and family.
Amanda’s death is a dreadful tragedy. She led Paradigm Trust with enormous energy, tremendous skill and most of all an enduring passion to give every child an outstanding education.
She will be missed so much by everyone and we understand you will have questions – many of which we will not be able to answer yet. We are working on contingency plans and further news will be published in the Paradigm Trust website as it is available.
Murrayfield Community Primary School in Ipswich is the latest school to be transferred to the management of Paradigm Trust. The transfer is effective as of 1 January 2017.
Murrayfield, which has been in special measures since September 2015, is being transferred at the order of the Department for Education. Paradigm Trust was chosen as Murrayfield’s sponsoring trust because of its local connections and strong track record in improving failing schools. Paradigm Trust already runs Ipswich Academy, which has just achieved its best-ever GCSE results, and three primary schools in London (two of which are rated outstanding by Ofsted and the other good with three outstanding features).
The school’s new name is Murrayfield Primary Academy.
Amanda Phillips CBE, Chief Executive Officer of Paradigm Trust, will be principal of Murrayfield. She said:
“Paradigm Trust’s aim is to give children the educational opportunities they deserve. We are working hard to do that with our existing schools and I am confident we shall be able to do the same for the children at Murrayfield.
“I have met many Murrayfield parents and we understand that change is unsettling. We are keen that they know that we are not interested in change for change’s sake. Everything that is good for the children will continue, but we will take immediate steps to raise the quality of teaching and educational standards.
“The key to improving standards is great teaching. There will be changes as we improve the teaching in the school but we will keep them informed about those. One of our main objectives is that the school is staffed in a way that allows us to deliver the outstanding education that we believe every child deserves.”
All staff currently at Murrayfield will transfer to Paradigm Trust under TUPE legislation.
At Ipswich Academy, Amanda will be replaced by Helen Winn, formerly associate principal, who takes on the role of interim principal.