Governors at East Leake Academy, part of the Diverse Academies Learning Partnership, have today announced the new principal for the Nottinghamshire-based secondary school.

Blake Francis, who has been acting principal since September 2019, has been successful in securing the role on a permanent basis and will continue to lead the academy to create a positive learning climate for its 1,040 students.

Mr Francis, who has worked at the academy for almost 10 years, took over the reins at the start of this academic year and has already navigated the school through a successful Ofsted visit as well as implementing a new strategy around behaviour and standards.

His substantial experience and knowledge of the academy comes from working over the best part of a decade in leadership roles including deputy head of faculty, head of year, assistant principal, and most recently, vice principal for teaching and learning.

Mr Francis completed his PGCE at Loughborough University and started teaching in 2005, taking up his first role at Ecclesbourne School in Derbyshire, before joining East Leake Academy in 2010.

He said: “The support that staff, students and parents have shown me since taking on the role temporarily in September has been heartwarming and inspiring. Seeing everyone working together during this time, to move the school forward in such a positive way, has made securing the position of substantive principal at East Leake Academy a very proud moment.

“I have a very personal commitment and drive to ensure that our students get the very best education and that the academy continues to improve.  I know that the community shares this commitment to make a good school even better and to transform the lives of our young people in the process.  Individually we are strong, but together we are collectively powerful and this is how we will ensure that the academy goes from strength to strength in the future.”

David Vernon, senior principal from the multi-academy trust, Diverse Academies, added: “I am extremely confident that Blake will continue to drive forward standards, lead the academy in a positive direction and build on the excellent work that has already been implemented since September.  As well as bringing continuity and stability to the role, he offers a wealth of knowledge and experience of East Leake Academy which he can utilise to ensure all our students achieve to their highest potential.”