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Case Study - Ryde and Sandown


“We thought we would struggle to recruit Principals for Ryde & Sandown Bay Academies – we did not expect to get the Pearson Headteacher of the Year!”

When Academies Enterprise Trust (AET) invited tenders for the recruitment of Principals for its two Isle of Wight academies, Ryde and Sandown Bay, we anticipated that these would not be easy positions to fill.  Attainment on the island is low and all schools on the Isle of Wight struggle to recruit and retain good permanent Principals. Both academies were RI, having previously been placed in special measures and both were being led by interim Principals at the time. 

The assignment was managed by John Carter at Veredus, who had impressed the appointment board with his passion and commitment. The two positions were advertised in the TES and John set about approaching 150 candidates in a nationwide search. 

Given its accessibility from the mainland, Ryde Academy proved the more attractive opportunity. Nevertheless we were absolutely delighted when we were able to appoint Joy Ballard as its Principal. Joy is known to TV viewers from her appearances on Educating Wales and her achievements at the Willows school in Cardiff. Her refusal to accept that there are any barriers to achievement, her absolute commitment to the disadvantaged and her energy and passion coupled with her track record of rapid improvement made her the standout candidate. She is now inspiring the parents and students at Ryde Academy with her vision of “Belong, Believe and Achieve”.

Sandown Bay represented more of a challenge but we were very fortunate that Claire Charlemagne, the Headteacher at Saltus Grammar School in Bermuda, read our on-line advertisement. Claire was initially interviewed via Skype and then invited to the UK for the panel interviews. Her twelve years in Bermuda had provided her with a unique insight into the challenges of teaching in island communities. 

Together, Joy and Claire are having a tremendous impact on Ryde and Sandown Bay Academies and are already raising aspirations on the east of the island. John Carter’s passion, patience and commitment certainly bore fruit and AET is extremely happy with the Principals that the Veredus assignment enabled us to appoint. 

Tanya Bentham

Recruitment and Retention Manager at Academies Enterprise Trust


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