Leeds West Academy


Principal's Update

Working together to deliver exceptional standards

At the end of another incredibly busy week at Leeds West Academy, I am pleased to be able to update you on some key events and actions that have been taken during this week. 

Our Year 9 and 10 students have worked hard on the completion of their respective exams throughout this week.  On the whole, our students have engaged with these exams extremely well and are becoming well-rehearsed in appropriate examination conduct.  This will serve our students well as they start their drive towards strong achievement.  These exams will also provide teachers with the information they need to be able to effective plan their teaching to have the biggest impact on each and every student. 

I was delighted to meet with several parents at the two events that took place on Thursday evening and Friday morning this week.  This provided me and other senior leaders with an opportunity to engage in thoughtful conversation about our Academy, and how we can work together to take things forwards.  It is true to say that some of the messages from these conversations make uncomfortable listening, but we are here to listen and we will respond to any concerns that you raise.  As parents, your children have the biggest stake in our success.  With this in mind, your views genuinely matter to us.  We will be holding similar events every half-term throughout the next academic year.  If you were unable to attend on this occasion, please do come along to our next event, the details of which will be published in the next few weeks. 

Several of the concerns that have been raised by parents, both through our special events and through Parents' Consultation Evening, have related to the consistency of staffing.  As this term draws closer to its end, we are gradually introducing new colleagues to Leeds West Academy that will continue to improve the consistency that your children experience, every day.  This week, we welcome Aimee Hanson, our new Director of English who brings a wealth of experience and ambition to our Academy, along with Matthew Cave (Teacher of Maths), Amber Thorneycroft (Teacher of Spanish) and Rosie Evans (Teacher of Art).  Next week, David Hillary starts with us as Vice Principal, leading on Achievement and Outcomes, adding further capacity and pedigree to our leadership team.  We also welcome Katrina Pugh, James Higgins and Graham Terry to our Maths team, with Mahammed Rob joining Innovation as a teacher of Science. Kirsty Spencer will also commence her career as a Teacher of Technology upon completion of her training with us.  Each of our new colleagues are extremely welcome; we feel very confident that their qualities and skills will further enhance the work we are doing to improve Leeds West Academy. Profiles of our newest colleagues can be found here.

We have received significant feedback from students, parents and staff regarding our Behaviour Policy, and the perception that some students see this as unfair.  Over the next few weeks, we will be launching to students our revised plans to ensure we adopt a fair and consistent approach to promoting positive behaviour around the Academy and in all lessons.  We are confident that these plans will be well-received and will bring about significant improvements in our students' enjoyment of learning. 

I am looking forward to the week ahead, which again brings many exciting events.  We welcome our new Year 7 students for Transition Day, on Wednesday 5th July, followed by an evening presentation to our new Year 7 parents.  Following an extremely positive showcase of talent shown through the Year 10 BTEC Dance Performance Generation Jukebox on Wednesday evening, I am excited to attend the Year 7 and 8 Specialism Showcase, A Night at the Musicals.  The Performing Arts specialism is clearly a strong passion within our community, and we are working hard to enhance this aspect of our work. 

In closing, I would like to thank those parents who have given their time to talk in-depth to me, and for your support in the work we are doing. 

I wish you a relaxing and enjoyable weekend.

Yours sincerely,


Christian Wilcocks


 Download Leeds West Academy's Strategy for Rapid Improvement


To download printer-friendly versions of Mr Wilcocks' letters, please visit Letters Home.