Principal of new Bury St Edmunds secondary school pledges to work with community

Principal Andy Prestoe
Principal Andy Prestoe
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The newly appointed principal of a Bury St Edmunds secondary school - due to open next year - has pledged to work with the community to serve the aspirations of the town.

Andy Prestoe has taken the leading role at the Sybil Andrews Academy, on the Moreton Hall estate, which will be run by the Samuel Ward Academy Trust.

The 43-year-old is principal of the trust’s Ofsted ‘outstanding’ rated Samuel Ward Academy, in Haverhill, with a teaching career spanning 18 years. He said: “We want to build a fantastic school with the community to meet the needs of its students and reflect the values, aspirations and ethos of Bury. It’s an exciting opportunity but also a genuine privilege.”

The £20 million plus school, which is being built by Suffolk County Council as the majority of the town moves to two tier education, will take upto 360 pupils when it opens in September. Mr Prestoe said they will need approximately 20 to 25 teachers plus support staff and they will start recruiting in the new year.

Having already been through the move to two tier in Haverhill, he said: “We will continue to build relationships with the existing middle and primary schools. It’s really important the process doesn’t disadvantage the students - we need to make sure we know where they’ve got to in terms of their curriculum.”

A transition process has been agreed with the Bury Schools Partnership.

Promising a ‘broad and balanced’ curriculum, students will study the English Baccalaureate and the trust is looking at providing a ‘high end’ Science, Technology, Education and Maths (STEM) focus.

Mr Prestoe said: “We want students to have opportunities to develop leadership skills. Our enrichment curriculum will allow students to develop confidence through a whole range of activities.”

The trust, which includes three secondary and three primary schools in Suffolk, is also looking at appointing a local governing body and has already had expressions of interest.