A Head of Education

Ofsted rated 'Outstanding' leader to further 2020 vision

The White Rose Academies Trust is delighted to announce that Nick Hinchliffe, Principal at Leeds West Academy, is to join the Trust as Head of Education from February 2017. The Head of Education will develop and direct the ongoing support and specialist provisions of the Trust, taking its Academies to outstanding in three years.


Andrew Whitaker, Executive Principal, explains: "Outstanding Academies are built upon the support and vision of an outstanding Trust. Nick's unmatched international teaching and leadership experience is an integral part of furthering our Trust-wide vision of excellence. Whilst we know Nick’s daily presence will be greatly missed throughout the school community, we can assure staff, students and parents that his influence and continual guidance from within the Trust will be key in steering Leeds West Academy through its Journey to Outstanding. The Board is delighted and excited to begin working with Nick in 2017."


Nick Hinchliffe began his career at 18, spending a year in the Swat Valley in Pakistan teaching English. He read English Literature at Cambridge University before training to be an English teacher at Goldsmith’s College. After three years working in an international school in Bangkok, he became Assistant Principal at St Paul’s Catholic School in South East London. In 2009 he joined Leeds West Academy as Senior Vice Principal, guiding the school through two Ofsted inspections to be judged good with outstanding leadership. Throughout his career, Nick has enjoyed a number of additional key leadership roles, including Head of English, whole school Teaching and Learning, Data and Assessment, and Curriculum Lead. He has also worked in a variety of different education systems and has taught International Baccalaureate as well as GCSE and A-Level. He is currently Co-Chair of the Area Inclusion Partnership and the Chair of the Bramley Cluster. He became Head of School in 2013 and the following year was appointed as Principal.


Nick Hinchliffe commented: "This is a very exciting, creative role through which I will continue to maintain a very close connection with Leeds West Academy. I firmly believe that partnership is key to unlocking the potential of our staff and young people, ensuring that we share the outstanding practices which directly benefit our learners. By combining and furthering professional skills across the Trust, we are building a highly desirable infrastructure of support with a leading vision for future growth. I look forward to working with Leeds City Academy and Leeds East Academy at this transformative time and thank everyone for the support I have received at Leeds West Academy for the last seven years.”


Vice Principal Ben Wheeler will assume the role of Acting Principal at Leeds West Academy next term. Since 2013, Ben has led on Behaviour & Safety at Leeds West Academy and co-developed the new Behaviour Policy, whilst also creating an improved Early Intervention System. Ben also introduced the Intensive Support Team and developed the local alternative provision through his role in the Secondary Sub Group. He has also collaborated with the Cluster and the AIP to recruit leading staff whilst developing relationships between agencies.

Ben Wheeler comments: “Nick Hinchliffe’s expertise and inspirational leadership is woven into the fabric of Leeds West Academy. Following Nick’s promotion into the wider Trust, I am delighted to continue leading our dedicated and talented staff on the Academy’s journey to outstanding.”


Nick Hinchliffe will commence his new role as Head of Education in February Half Term and will also continue to teach English at Leeds West Academy throughout this academic year. The role of Leeds West Academy’s Principal will be advertised nationally and internationally next term.

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