THE acting headteacher of Stourport’s St Bartholomew’s CE Primary School has been appointed to the post permanently, after impressing governors and multi-academy trust leaders.

Ian James has been running the school since September 2019 following the retirement of Susan Helps after 11 years of dedicated service.

Chairman of governors Suzy Powell said: “Interviews for the post were held immediately prior to the coronavirus lockdown and with strong contenders, Mr James’ experience, passion and ambitions for the school shone out, making him the unanimous choice.”

St Bartholomew’s is one of the Severn Academies Educational Trust family of schools, and Mr James’ previous position as Trust director of performance and partnerships, involved coordinating more than 50 enhanced learning opportunities for 2,000 pupils across eight schools, including debating workshops, visits to the Houses of Parliament and coordinating visits from inspirational people.

Prior to that, he taught PE and business studies for 23 years and was a member of the senior leadership team at Stourport High School for eight years until 2017, where his responsibilities included the sixth form and curriculum.

Mr James said: “Having worked closely with pupils and staff at St Bartholomew’s during the past two years, I am delighted to now lead the school forward with highly motivated and talented staff, amazing pupils and very supportive parents.

“My vision for St Bart’s is to build upon the school’s many strengths whilst leading it forward in line with new government and Ofsted legislation and frameworks.

“A number of exciting developments are currently in progress, including our new innovative Harmony curriculum, enrichment programme and as a Jigsaw flagship school, delivering their PSHE programme, all designed to develop well-rounded, thoroughly prepared children for the next phase of their lives.”

Chris King, chief executive of the trust, added: “Ian is an exceptional leader who has tremendous empathy for this school and its community and has the experience and desire to take the helm with confidence and the certain mandate of the St Bart’s community.”