A woman who has taken over responsibility for thousands of schoolchildren across the Melton borough has outlined her vision for their future education.
Christine Stansfield is the new chief executive of Mowbray Education Trust, which now manages six schools after Sherard Primary joined the group this week.
She remains head teacher of John Ferneley College in Melton and also oversees town schools The Grove and Brownlow Primary, as well as the village schools at Ab Kettleby and Somerby.
Plans have also just been announced that the Nottingham Street-based Oasis Family Centre and Nursery will shortly be part of the trust.
Mrs Stansfield, who is described by the trust board as an ‘inspirational leader’, says individual schools will co-operate even more in future and she is setting up a ‘school improvement team’ to ensure every child gets the most effective support.
She told the Melton Times: “I’m very excited about the challenge ahead but aware of the responsibility I have.
“I live in Melton and I have quite an investment in this community so I want to deliver the best educational services I can for the 2,342 children in our care.”
One of the changes she is bringing in is more regular meetings between the head teachers, who currently meet once a term. Her aim is to share expertise and best practice between the trust’s schools and help solve challenging issues together.
There has been more autonomy granted to individual schools in the trust in the past but she feels a greater spirit of co-operation will benefit them all.
The planned new ‘school improvement team’ will include executive heads, leaders with responsibility for English and maths, pupil data performance, attendance records and disadvantaged children.
Schools and individual students will then be supported by the team as required.
“I’m not looking to empire build before we are ready,” said Mrs Stansfield (45).
“I want us to be one of the top performing multi-academy trusts in the country because that will mean our children are doing well.”
Mrs Stansfield, who taught English at Melton’s King Edward VII School between 2002 and 2005, joined John Ferneley College as assistant head teacher seven years ago before becoming head in April 2014.
Her sons, Harry (16) and 13-year-old Eddie, are both pupils at her school.
She added: “My dream is to get things up and running with the trust and then eventually return to the classroom because I love teaching.”
A statement released by Mowbray Education Trust to welcome Mrs Stansfield to her new role says: “The board is delighted with the appointment of Chris Stansfield as CEO.
“Chris is well known locally for her commitment and drive to do ‘whatever it takes’ to secure the very best outcomes for students as head of John Ferneley College.
“We are all looking forward to her translating this across the trust and the whole community benefiting from her inspirational leadership.”
The trust also paid tribute to the ‘extraordinary contribution of Chris Robinson’,” the 68-year-old outgoing chief executive who has stepped down.
“He leaves as CEO of a trust which, from September, has responsibility for over 2,300 students, five primary schools, one secondary and one day care nursery,” their statement reads.
“A remarkable story in anyone’s eyes and many Melton families have benefitted from his dedication, and owe him a debt of gratitude.”