After a very varied youth which consisted of sporting competition, playing music, acting professionally and travelling I found myself working at a school for orphaned young people from inner city Manhattan in upstate New York. This opportunity, allied with my childhood experiences, provided me with both an understanding of the power of education and a strong desire to help young people overcome the challenges they face.
I returned to the UK to start a teacher training course and began my career as an English teacher in a deprived area of Manchester; this really opened my eyes to the consequences of social injustice and cemented to me the importance of the teaching profession. I saw first-hand the impact a passionate teacher could have on young people.
I have spent the subsequent 20 years working across the north-west at a variety of schools in a range of different contexts and in a range of leadership positions. I have developed a track record of school improvement in all the schools I have worked at; as Principal at Beamont Collegiate Academy in Warrington, I led the school to its first ever ‘good’ Ofsted judgement, secured an £11 million new build and took the school to being amongst the most over-subscribed in the town.
As Chief Executive Officer within The Challenge Academy Trust, my aim is to use my influence and experience to ensure that the children and young people in our care are provided with the best educational opportunities and care possible. Education has the power to transform, inspire, unlock opportunity and to ignite passions and this responsibility is one we are committed to across the organisation.
Andy is a facilitator for NPQELs and works across the country supporting other leaders in education.