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New head of Spalding and Bourne Academies shares her vision about the role of making them 'great places to be and where standards are high'




The incoming head of Spalding Academy has admitted to being “extremely excited” about the challenge of her new role.

Lucy Conley, currently deputy executive head teacher of South Lincolnshire Academies Trust (SLAT), is set to succeed Laurence Reilly as executive head in January.

The trust, which also includes Bourne Academy, has overseen an amazing upturn in standards at Spalding Academy reflected in its rise from 25 to 15 in the Department for Education’s “Progress 8”, Years 6 to 11 measures for secondary schools in Lincolnshire between 2017 and 2018.

TOUGH SHOES TO FILL: Lucy Conley will take over from Laurence Reilly as head of Bourne Academy and Spalding Academy in January. Photo (TIM WILSON): SG-221118-003TW
TOUGH SHOES TO FILL: Lucy Conley will take over from Laurence Reilly as head of Bourne Academy and Spalding Academy in January. Photo (TIM WILSON): SG-221118-003TW

Mrs Conley said: "I am extremely excited to have been appointed executive head teacher for SLAT.

"Due to my current work with the parents, students and staff of both Bourne Academy and Spalding Academy, they will not witness any real change to working patterns or daily school life during this period of transition.

"Having worked so closely with Mr Reilly as deputy head teacher of Bourne Academy and, over the last two years, as deputy executive head teacher of SLAT, I can confirm that we have been preparing for this succession.

"For my part, I will work to ensure the success of the trust's schools by continuing with our commitment to areas, such as high levels of behavioural support, professional opportunities for staff development, ongoing curriculum, teaching and learning development."

Laurence Reilly and Lucy Conley, with students and staff from Bourne Academy which was named School of the Year (Secondary) at the Lincolnshire Free Press and Spalding Guardian Education Awards 2014. Photo by Tim Wilson. SG121114-250TW.
Laurence Reilly and Lucy Conley, with students and staff from Bourne Academy which was named School of the Year (Secondary) at the Lincolnshire Free Press and Spalding Guardian Education Awards 2014. Photo by Tim Wilson. SG121114-250TW.

Mrs Conley joined Bourne Academy in 2005 when it was known as Robert Manning Technical College.

The school became Bourne Academy in September 2011 and five years later, it took over the running of Spalding's Sir John Gleed School which became Spalding Academy in September 2016.

Mrs Conley said: "I am absolutely passionate about working with young people and my vision for both schools will always be centred on giving our students the opportunities to be the absolute best they can be.

"Moving forward, we now have an extremely strong staff team, made up of teachers and non-teaching staff, in place at both schools.

"In addition, I am extremely lucky to be supported by a core team of strong governors, along with a robust, well-established leadership team who work well together with a common purpose.

"This team is made up of extremely committed individuals who don’t seek self-glory, but team glory and who fully understand the part each one plays in meeting the needs to ensure the trust’s ongoing success.

"These leaders have all been ‘grown from within’ and the professional development of staff is something that is an extremely important aspect of my vision for the trust in the future.

TOUGH SHOES TO FILL: Lucy Conley will take over from Laurence Reilly as head of Bourne Academy and Spalding Academy in January. Photo (TIM WILSON): SG-221118-006TW
TOUGH SHOES TO FILL: Lucy Conley will take over from Laurence Reilly as head of Bourne Academy and Spalding Academy in January. Photo (TIM WILSON): SG-221118-006TW

"Both of our schools are great places to be and where standards are high, teaching is outstanding, behaviour and safeguarding issues are dealt with effectively and promptly and finance is completely stable.

"You will find no one more passionate about Bourne Academy than myself and now, over the past few years, that passion has transferred to Spalding Academy.

"Therefore, I hope to have the support of students, staff and parents on our continued SLAT journey."

Meanwhile, recognition of Mr Reilly's ten years at Bourne Academy has come from Nick Boles MP whose Grantham and Stamford parliamentary constituency includes Bourne.

Nick Boles MP whose Grantham and Stamford parliamentary constituency includes Bourne.
Nick Boles MP whose Grantham and Stamford parliamentary constituency includes Bourne.

Mr Boles said: "The people of Bourne will forever be in the debt of Laurence Reilly for giving so many of their children and grandchildren a first-class education at the old Robert Manning Technology College and now Bourne Academy.

"He has set an example for teachers and head teachers throughout the country and whilst we all regret his decision to stand down, we also wish him a very happy retirement.

"I look forward to working closely with Lucy Conley in the future."

. Spalding Academy’s incoming head Lucy Conley believes she is taking over the school at an “exciting time”.

With her role as executive head teacher also including Bourne Academy, Mrs Conley will draw on her experience of working for the past ten years as deputy to retiring head Laurence Reilly.

She said: “We have worked together to develop a strategy for running both schools that leads to consistently high standards, both in terms of examination outcomes and on a day-to-day basis.

“I am very excited to be offered this opportunity to lead Bourne Academy and Spalding Academy at such an exciting time for both schools.

Students and staff from Spalding Academy, Lincolnshire Free Press and Spalding Guardian Secondary of the Year 2018. Photo by Tim Wilson. 050718148SG.
Students and staff from Spalding Academy, Lincolnshire Free Press and Spalding Guardian Secondary of the Year 2018. Photo by Tim Wilson. 050718148SG.

“As executive head teacher, I would never want to lose my contact with the students as I am absolutely passionate about working with young people.

“I also have a high regard for the staff at both of our schools and my dealings with them are as important to me as working with the students.”

William Hawkins, chairman of governors for South Lincolnshire Academies Trust which runs both schools, said: "We are delighted that Lucy Conley is to be our new executive head teacher as she has been instrumental in the development of both schools.

“She will continue to build on that success with her energy and enthusiasm, alongside a great team of teachers and support staff to help her provide a bright future for each student, no matter what.

“However, Lucy’s primary focus is on the students for whom she sets high standards and leads by example."



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