Brighton and Hove school appoints new head

Posted On 26 Apr 2013 at 7:25 pm

A new head has been appointed by the governors of the Portslade Aldridge Community Academy (PACA).

James Fox, who has been acting as interim principal since January, will take on the job permanently.

He took over from Stuart McLaughlin who left at Christmas, weeks after a visit by inspectors from the official schools watchdog Ofsted.

PACA is sponsored by the Aldridge Foundation, which was set up by a millionaire old boy of the school, Sir Rod Aldridge, and by Brighton and Hove City Council.

The new head’s appointment was announced in a letter to parents this afternoon (Friday 26 April) from Aldridge Foundation chief executive Honor Wilson-Fletcher, who chairs PACA’s board of governors.

James Fox

James Fox

She said: “Following our advertisements we received of a good number of applications and had the pleasure of meeting some very strong candidates.

“The interview panel included governors, students and representatives of the sponsors.

“Mr Fox scored very highly across the panel tasks we set for all candidates and also impressed us with his vision, commitment and determination to do the very best by students and their families in Portslade.

“The governing body started a very challenging process in September of last year, overhauling the academy after a set of disappointing exam results at the end of our first year and evidence that the school needed to improve in some areas.

“That work continues and Mr Fox will be expected to progress the work that remains outstanding, on our behalf, in his new role.

“We were very encouraged by the letter we received from Ofsted when they revisited PACA in the new year which confirmed that we’re doing the right things and that we need to keep the plan for improvements going.”

Mr Fox said: “This is a period of great change for PACA and I am honoured to be asked to lead the academy as we strive to build the outstanding school and sixth form that Portslade’s young people have the right to expect.

“I am immensely proud of the way our students have worked to transform the academy’s reputation within the local community in recent months.

“With our new facilities becoming available soon and an Ofsted-backed improvement plan in place this is an exciting time to be at PACA.”

The school is in the final stages of a £12.7 million building and refurbishment project providing new science, music and performing arts centres, a community library and sixth form centre.

A topping out ceremony took place at the site in Chalky Road, Mile Oak, on Tuesday (23 April) to mark completion of the main construction phase of the project.


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