HIGH expectations and high standards are top of the agenda for Knutsford Academy Multi-Academy Trust’s new leader.

Mike Cladingbowl has come on board as Knutsford Multi-Academy Trust’s executive principal after leaving his post as Ofsted’s national director of inspection reform.

He took up his new school leadership role last month and wasted no time in getting the Bexton Road school, college and studio on track to being the best.

He said: “We will be making sure everyone here understands that we have high standards and high expectations from our students; that is what parents can rightly expect and, more importantly, that is what students deserve.

“I’m quite competitive so there’s no reason why this place should not be right at the top. I have never been one for resting on my laurels and I always want to make things better.

“I have spoken to students and listened to their ideas on how to make the school even better; the feeling is that they are proud, courteous and respectful without being timid. For me, the students have a real sense of pride and I’m doing all I can to foster that.”

Mike is not only interested in what goes on behind school gates – he has been out and about around Knutsford to see how students conduct themselves and has been engaging with primary schools in the town.

“Everyone has been incredibly welcoming,” he added. “I’m lucky to have visited a number of primary schools in Knutsford – Egerton, Manor Park, Saint Vincent’s – and I have been impressed by the quality of students’ work. I have met with staff, governors and parents; I look forward to doing more of that and working in partnership with them.

“We will do everything we can to help the primary schools prepare students for secondary school.”

Mike brings a wealth of experience with him. The father-of-two, who was appointed as one of Her Majesty’s Inspectors in 2002, was responsible for reforming the inspection of schools, colleges, independent schools and early years in England and has worked with the most senior figures in English education.

Before his time at Ofsted, he was head teacher at a variety of schools in the North West, including Cheshire.

He said: “I have done national work, helping to improve the life chances and education of millions of English pupils. It has been a privilege and I thoroughly enjoyed that time but in the past couple of years I increasingly felt that I wanted to put the ideas I had and the work I had done into practice myself.

“I wanted to walk the talk and lead a school.”

Want to congratulate Mike on his new role? Leave a message below