29th October 2020

New Executive Principal Vicky Beer appointed for Parrs Wood High School

Vicky Beer has been announced as the new Executive Principal for the Greater Manchester Learning Trust, the academy trust for Parrs Wood High School in Didsbury, Manchester.

Currently the Regional Schools Commissioner for Lancashire and West Yorkshire, her appointment follows the announcement at the end of last year that current Headteacher and Executive Principal Andrew Shakos will leave the school in April to go on to a new role.

Vicky became Regional Schools Commissioner in November 2015, having previously been Executive Principal of the West Trafford Learning Partnership, part of the Dean Trust – where she secured four consecutive Outstanding OfSTED inspection outcomes.  During this time she was also a National Leader of Education and a member of the Headteacher Board for Lancashire and West Yorkshire, and was Chair of the Teaching Schools Council from 2011 to 2015.

An early advocate of school to school and collaborative working, Vicky was also the Director and founding member of By Schools for Schools, a system-led school improvement body serving the Greater Manchester area.  She was awarded a CBE for services to education in 2013.

Suzannah Reeves, Chair of the Greater Manchester Learning Trust, said: “Our existing Head Andy Shakos was always going to be a hard act to follow, so Vicky’s appointment is great news for the school.

“She is enormously experienced and a much respected national leader of education.  She also has a wealth of expertise that is going to be of enormous benefit to us both as a school and in helping to shape our future as a multi academy trust.

“Parrs Wood celebrated its best ever GCSE and A level results last year and a key priority for us and for Vicky is going to be further building on this.  Parrs Wood is already a great school with fantastic staff and pupils, thanks in no small part to Andy’s inspirational leadership over the last five years, and now with Vicky’s appointment I’m confident  the school and Trust is going to go on from here to even better and greater things in the future.

“We’re very much looking forward to welcoming her in school.”

Councillor Sheila Newman, Executive Member for Children’s Services, Manchester City Council, said: “Although the education landscape in the city looks very different now from a few years ago, the family of schools in Manchester is still a close-knit collaborative one, and sees a lot of good practice and expertise shared between schools.  Vicky’s appointment to Parrs Wood is going to be an asset both to the city, to the Trust, and to the school itself.”

Last summer Parrs Wood High School secured some of its best ever exam results, seeing significant improvements in both  A level and GCSE results, and building on the improved results of previous years.  Nearly 28 per cent of all A level exams taken scored the coveted top grades of A*-A (up 7 per cent on the previous year’s figure), while 52 per cent of exam entries were graded A*-B (up 9 per cent on 2015 figures), and 77 per cent of all exams taken were graded A*-C (up 6 per cent on 2015).  Students at the school regularly secure places at a wide range of elite universities including Oxford and Cambridge and also to medical schools. GCSE results meanwhile were the best results in the school’s history.

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