Deputy headteacher to leave 'outstanding' Blackpool school to take top job near Chorley

The deputy headteacher at Layton Primary School is to leave to take over the top job at Eccleston Primary School near Chorley.

Tuesday, 6th October 2020, 11:33 am
Updated Tuesday, 6th October 2020, 11:34 am

Claire Jones, who was taught at Layton herself, started as a teacher there in 2008, and helped lead it to the top, with education watchdog Ofsted handing the Meyler Avenue school its top rating of 'outstanding' three years ago.

She has also led a computer revolution, working with both youngsters and the tech giant Apple to see Layton branded a "centre of excellence for ... leadership, teaching and innovative use of technology".

Mrs Jones said she will take over at Eccleston, in Doctor's Lane, in the new year and said: "Having been to Layton as a child, it's been a huge part of my life for a long time."

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Layton Primary School's deputy headteacher Claire Jones, middle, beside headteacher Jonathan Clucas, and pupils after the school was rated 'outstanding' by Ofsted in 2017. Mrs Jones is set to leave to take over at the Eccleston Primary School near Chorley in January 2021. Picture: Daniel Martino for JPIMedia

Headteacher Jonathan Clucas praised Mrs Jones's "hard work and dedication" and said: "Having taught many children here, and worked with so many staff, she will no doubt be missed by all of us.

"I shall be meeting with governors in due course in order that we make some decisions regarding Mrs Jones's successor.

"Staff will work together in the meantime in order to ensure the running of the school is not affected."

Eccleston announced the departure of its previous headteacher, Kelvin Wilkins, in mid-February, with deputy headteacher Kate Cranage taking over temporarily.

Chairman of the governors Lee Finch told parents: "Whilst it is tinged with great sadness that we will be saying goodbye ... I'm sure you will join me in saying a heartfelt congratulations to him in securing his new role, and a big thank you for the huge amount of effort and energy he has put into the school during his tenure..."

At a routine inspection in 2018, Ofsted said Mr Wilkins and the other teachers had "maintained the good quality of education" and added: "The harmonious and calm atmosphere you have created encourages pupils to thrive."

Layton was the best performing primary school in Blackpool in last December's league table, with 84 per cent of pupils meeting expected standards.