Valley headteacher chosen for coveted mentoring role

Ribblesdale High School headteacher Mr Stephen Cox with some of his pupils after the announcement that he has been chosen to act as a mentor to struggling schools.
Ribblesdale High School headteacher Mr Stephen Cox with some of his pupils after the announcement that he has been chosen to act as a mentor to struggling schools.

A headteacher and his staff have been selected for a top role supporting schools in challenging circumstances.

Stephen Cox, who is head at Clitheroe’s Ribblesdale High School, is one of more than 70 headteachers to be appointed to the role of National Leader of Education in the latest recruitment round.

NLE’s, along with their staff, use their success and professionalism to provide additional leadership capability on other schools. Only those with an outstanding record of teaching are chosen for the role.

Mr Cox said: “To be appointed to this role is indicative of the incredible staff we have at Ribblesdale and their commitment to ensure young people receive the very highest level of education.

“While there is a clear focus of this role on assisting schools in challenging circumstances there is compelling evidence that this process also has huge benefits for the National Support School and its pupils and I am confident it will assist in Ribbledale’s continued success.”

The role is deployed to suit the needs of each school requiring support and the type of support provided is flexible and can sometimes involve NLEs becoming executive headteachers.

Ribblesdale now becomes a National Support School and Jenny Woodward, who is chairman of Ribblesdale’s governing body, said: “The governing body are delighted that the school has been selected as an NSS and that Mr Cox has been chosen as an NLE.

“We are committed in supporting both him and the school to develop these roles. It will, of course, be highly beneficial to current and future pupils to the school.”

Roger Pope, who is chairman of the National College for Teaching and Leadership, said it was fantastic that headteachers like Mr Cox have the “passion and ambition” to help improve the chances in life of their own students and pupils at other schools.

He said: “The aim of national leaders of education is to drive improvement in underperforming schools.

“We now have over 1,200 NLEs and we are working to increase this number further to spread educational excellence everywhere.”