A headteacher has vowed to “strike back” for Blackpool after being appointed to a top union role.
Andy Mellor, headteacher of St Nicholas CE Primary School in Marton, has been elected as Vice President of the National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT) for the year 2017-18.
He will subsequently become president of the union in May 2018.
Mr Mellor, who led the school to an ‘outstanding’ rating from Ofsted, will still be based in school for the first year of his role but will hand over the school’s reins to deputy headteacher Claire Taylor for 2018/19.
His role will see him work with the government’s Department for Education to shape policy and try to ensure pupils and parents get the best deal.
He said: “I have a strong sense of what is right and what is wrong and a determination to make sure that we work towards a better, fairer school system.
“I came into teaching as a Year 4 teacher in Birmingham to help positively support the life chances of a class of Year 4 children.
“As well as championing Blackpool and Blackpool schools, I want to work towards a fairer system of funding for all schools so that the infrastructure can be put in place for our members to support children in their learning, and to develop an assessment system where pupils’ achievements are recognised and not used to judge the effectiveness of schools.
“Our members and children deserve so much better.
“I can be in the ear of the government through quiet diplomacy, to be able to influence that policy.
“Blackpool has been the whipping boy for far too long and I will be able to talk Blackpool up as well as the national strategy. There is lots of really good practice to be found in Blackpool and I’m looking forward to the challenge.”
Mr Mellor – who said the response from parents had been “overwhlemingly positive” – said Ms Taylor would make a fine acting headteacher.
He said: “Claire started at St Nicholas as a newly qualified teacher and has risen through the ranks and knows and understands the school wonderfully. She is ready for a headship and has my full support. I’ll still pop in from time to time to see the children and staff but I know the school will be in great hands.”
Mr Mellor will be sworn in as vice-president at the AHT Annual Conference in Telford on Saturday April 29. The NAHT represents 30,000 headteachers across England, Wales and Northern Ireland.