Parent and charity champion Paul Rayner takes leading role at new school

Chairman of governors Paul Rayner, headteacher Andy Prestoe and vice-principals Shaun Douglas and James Mason on the site of the new Sybil Andrews Academy ANL-160407-104620001
Chairman of governors Paul Rayner, headteacher Andy Prestoe and vice-principals Shaun Douglas and James Mason on the site of the new Sybil Andrews Academy ANL-160407-104620001
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A parent and charity champion has been appointed as the first chairman of governors at Sybil Andrews Academy.

Paul Rayner, who lives close to the school on the Moreton Hall Estate, in Bury, is a local accountant and chairman of the My WiSH Charity special events committee supporting West Suffolk Hospital.

The school will open its classrooms to 200 students in September - initially from St James Middle School before moving into their brand new building, in Rougham Tower Avenue, by January at the latest.

It will be part of the Samuel Ward Academy Trust with Andy Prestoe as headteacher.

Mr Rayner, whose five-year-old son Thomas attends Sebert Wood Community Primary, said he is relishing the chance to help create a new chapter in the town’s education system.

He said: “It is a great opportunity to play a part in creating something really special for both Moreton Hall and the whole of Bury St Edmunds.

“The ethos of the school, and the wider Samuel Ward Academy Trust, is also something I can really buy into. What the Trust has done with other schools, and in particular the Samuel Ward Academy in Haverhill, has been amazing.”

On the school’s delayed opening into the new building, he said: “The parents I have spoken to agree with the academy’s leadership team - that there is no point starting in the new school building until it is fully complete.

“I want to do all I can to help Andy and his team make this new school great and I know we are very lucky to have such a fantastic headteacher leading on what I think will be a phenomenal project.”

Mr Rayner recently saw the school’s building work for the first time with Mr Prestoe and vice principals James Mason and Shaun Douglas.

Mr Mason, a former assistant head at Samuel Ward, added: “We’ve already assembled a really strong group of staff and are very excited about starting in September.”