School leader heads west

Mike Walton (below) will be taking over at AKS in September from Jim Keefe.
Mike Walton (below) will be taking over at AKS in September from Jim Keefe.
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A Fylde independent school has appointed a new headteacher.

Mike Walton will take on the headship of AKS, the merged Arnold King Edward Queen Mary School based on Clifton Drive South, St Annes, later this year.

Mike Walton, new headteacher at AKS, taking over from Jim Keefe

Mike Walton, new headteacher at AKS, taking over from Jim Keefe

AKS’s governors and United Learning, the national school group which AKS is part of, today announced the appointment.

Mr Walton will take over the running of the fee-paying school for children aged from four up to 18 from September.

Current headteacher Jim Keefe is stepping down to take on a new venture as head of a school in Winnipeg, Canada.

Mr Walton will also be travelling to take on his new role, moving from a British international boarding school in Pattaya, Thailand.

The father-of-three said: “I am delighted to have been appointed headmaster of AKS and look forward to taking up the post. I am greatly looking forward to joining the AKS community and working alongside the school’s students, parents and staff.”

Mr Walton is familiar with the North West, having graduated from Lancaster University before a busy 25 years with posts as a geography teacher, a headteacher in Kent, chairman of the Federation of British International Schools in Asia, and as head of the Thai school since 2005.

Arnold School, formerly on Lytham Road, Blackpool, merged with King Edward Queen Mary School in September 2012, to create AKS, with both school’s pupils moving to redeveloped school facilities on Clifton Drive South.

Jerry Wooding, chairman of the school’s Local Governing Body (LGB), said: “I am very pleased indeed that Mike has accepted this appointment as we now move forward with the future strategic development of AKS.

“We look forward very much to welcoming Mike to the school and working with him. Much has been achieved at AKS since 2012 and we are confident that under Mr Walton’s leadership the school will continue to go from strength to strength.”

United Learning Group chief executive Jon Coles said: “Having gone through an extensive recruitment process to find the best candidate to build on the strong foundations laid by Mr Keefe, we are delighted to welcome Mike Walton.

“Mike is a strong and dynamic school leader and has the perfect combination of experience, expertise and enthusiasm to lead AKS on the next stage of its journey.”

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