Bright future ahead for Morecambe academy after new principal announced

The new principal of Morecambe Bay Academy has sent out a message to parents and pupils with a pledge to place it at the heart of the local community.

By Gayle Rouncivell
Monday, 22nd February 2021, 11:54 am
Heather McClurg is the new principal at Morecambe Bay Academy.
Heather McClurg is the new principal at Morecambe Bay Academy.

Heather McClurg, who took over at the Dallam Avenue school this month, says creating a caring, community environment, alongside continuing to raise standards, are her main priorities as she starts her new role.

Heather steps up to the principal role after five years as deputy headteacher and 11 years of experience working locally with Queen Katherine School in Kendal and Dallam School in Milnthorpe.

In more recent times, she has managed the School Direct Teacher Training Programme and was an executive board member of the South Cumbria SCITT working in and across schools in Cumbria.

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Morecambe Bay Academy.

She replaces Victoria Michael, who left the school in November.Heather’s new goal is to embed the school at the heart of local community, raise expectations for achievement and make it the school of choice for local parents to send their children to for a rounded education.

She said: “It is a privilege to be appointed as principal within the Bay Learning Trust’s family of schools. We understand and value the strength of collective working.

“I’ve worked at the academy for five years as deputy headteacher and have an immense loyalty to our staff, students, and their families.

“As the old grammar school within the town and later as a community school this is an institution close to the hearts of many people in Morecambe.

"Our job is to place us at the heart of the community and ensure that our students are encouraged to be aspirational and reach the very highest levels of achievement.

“Our plan over the next few years is to be recognised as a true community school where parents know their child will be nurtured and encouraged, ready for the next steps of their life whether that is in higher education or straight into work.

“As we’ve seen throughout the last twelve months, schools are about supporting our young people to develop their skills, personality and resilience to become fully rounded individuals who can become an asset to their local communities.”

Heather will be supported by senior vice principal John Cowper, who has worked at the school since 2018 and has over twenty years’ teaching experience, including ten years as a senior leader with responsibilities for behaviour, attendance and student outcomes.

The school is part of the Bay Learning Trust’s family of local schools, alongside Ripley St Thomas Church of England Academy, Carnforth High School and Central Lancaster High School.

The Bay Learning Trust is the only academy trust in the area which focuses solely on education in Lancaster and Morecambe.

Morecambe Bay Academy has received more than £5m of capital investment since joining the Bay Learning Trust. The wood-panelled rooms from the grammar school have been preserved with many additional works including a brand new music block.

Prof John Crewdson, chair of trustees at the Bay Learning Trust, said: “We are delighted with Heather’s appointment, she brings a fresh approach alongside a track record of school improvement. We firmly believe that Morecambe Bay Academy will go from strength to strength under her leadership.”

Sally Kenyon, chief executive of the Bay Learning Trust, said: “This is a really exciting period for Morecambe Bay Academy and the local community, with Heather leading a new era for the school where pupils, parents and school staff can be proud to be part of the school and our achievements together.”

Morecambe Bay Academy is one of four schools managed by the Bay Learning Trust, a family of schools in the Lancaster and Morecambe Bay area and the only small, local, multi academy trust.

The trust’s vision is to build a family of like-minded primary and secondary schools in the geographical area of Morecambe Bay who work and learn together to secure an excellent education for all our young people.