A new Head of School has been announced for Burnt Mill Academy.

Former associate headteacher John Blaney has been promoted to help lead the school, along with Helena Mills whose role is now head of Burnt Mill Co-operative Academy Trust schools.

The move enables Ms Mills to be freed up from the more minor day-to-day tasks involved with running Burnt Mill, in First Avenue, Harlow, to focus on keeping standards high and improving across the Trust’s six schools.

The successful leader, who led Burnt Mill to an Ofsted rating of outstanding, has also announced she will stay with the family of schools for the rest of her career.

Ms Mills, who will be overall head of Burnt Mill and Forest Hall secondary schools and four primaries, said: “I am completely committed to this family of schools. The core values I brought to Burnt Mill will still be here and I will be personally ensuring those values run through every corner and every corridor of all of our schools. Just because I will be overseeing six schools does not mean my focus changes. I know the name of every Year 6 child in all of our primaries and what they are predicted to get in their SATs. That won’t change. In fact, this new structure means I will have more time to devote to our children.”

Ms Mills and Mr Blaney have worked closely together for 17 years. When Mr Blaney joined Burnt Mill in 2010, he was tasked with transforming teaching and was the reason the school was able to secure outstanding for teaching in the new rigorous Ofsted framework.

Ms Mills said: “It is because of Mr Blaney and his team of talented lead practitioners that all of our teachers are now outstanding. I take the credit for transforming the school, but that would not have happened without John as my deputy.”

Mr Blaney said: “I am delighted to have been appointed as the new head of school.

“I have worked here for the past five years, but have worked alongside Helena for all of my teaching career and I fully support her values and ethos which is why I am so excited to take on this role. You can be assured it is my sole aim to ensure the excellent standards achieved over the past five years will remain the core of what we do here at Burnt Mill.

“I have the very same high aspirations for our students; I expect every child to leave us having achieved outstanding results; I want them to develop as well rounded individuals; and want all of them to have the opportunity to go to any university in the world of their choosing. I want our students to leave us fully prepared to take their place and be able to compete on the world stage.

“I know it is through an excellent education that our students will be able to achieve their full potential. I’m delighted to work with a very talented team of outstanding teachers who will continue to provide your sons and daughters with the world class education they deserve.”