Antony has a proven track record for demonstrating sustainable school improvement, HMI say he provides ‘Outstanding’ leadership, thoroughness and professionalism in the most difficult of circumstances. He reads free school and academy settings well. He is comfortable working with ambiguity and complexity. He is tenacious and unflagging in the pursuit of excellence and integrity. He enjoys chairing Appeal and Grievance hearings, through which he often learns what typifies ‘working life’ in a school.
Free school experience
Antony is engaged as a free-school improvement partner for a multi-academy trust. He has implemented a unique evidence based approach to performance management and self-evaluation for free school leaders. Free school governors and senior staff like his approach to accountability, because his questioning is all about impact. He knows what an outstanding free school should look like and uses this as a benchmark in his work.
He is also designated by the National College as a Specialist Leader in Education for maths. His strategies for enabling pupils to make at least good progress are a significant feature of his teaching school activities. He completed a post graduate diploma in understanding radicalisation in 2018 with the University of Derby for which he gained a distinction. This qualification, together with his accreditation as a Home Office facilitator, assists his work with governors in ensuring free schools have a strong safeguarding culture and are ‘on message’ about preventing extremism.
Antony has spent his entire career leading schools in areas of extreme disadvantage from failure to at least Ofsted Good. The most effective turn around, was as Executive headteacher of Harrop Fold School in Salford from 2004 to 2010, which was labelled the ‘worst in the country’ in 2004 by David Bell, the then HMCI. Antony received a letter of commendation from the Secretary of State and Downing Street, because after six successful years, behaviour, attendance and results continued to accelerate rapidly. Since then, he has adopted a different profile, working with and through others, to improve free schools and academies by spreading good, and cost-effective, practice ‘behind the scenes’ to help secure provision that is at least good. He craves accuracy in his editing and proof reading of masters and doctoral theses, as well as journal articles, prior to publication.