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New name, new uniform, and a new principal for Telford school

A Telford secondary school has announced the start of an ambitious new era – with a new name, new uniform, and a new principal.

Telford Priory School at Wrockwardine Wood, which joined the Learning Community Trust earlier this year, will be known as New Road Academy from the start of the next academic year.

The name was chosen by students after a lengthy and thorough consultation process which also involved staff, and parents.

It marks the start of an exciting chapter for the school under the guidance of new principal Andrea Bell, who has more than 20 years of experience with the Shireland Collegiate Academy Trust in Smethwick.

She said: “I feel privileged to lead this school, and will strive to make it one of the best in Telford. My vision is centred around three key areas that will drive everything we do, every day – ambition, respect, and courage.

“Ambition drives us to excel and achieve greatness, pushing boundaries and reaching new heights. Our students will be inspired to dream big, and work hard to turn those dreams into reality.

“Respect forms the foundation of our school community, where everyone feels valued and heard. Promoting positive behaviour is essential for creating a safe, respectful and conducive learning environment.

“And courage is essential for personal growth and overcoming challenges. Encouraging our students to step out of their comfort zone, take risks, and face obstacles head-on empowers them to develop resilience and adaptability.”

Major changes are being planned at the school from September, including the introduction of a bespoke curriculum and creation of dedicated study areas.
In a letter to parents explaining the reasons for the new name, Andrea and Learning Community Trust chief executive Jane Hughes said: “The academy’s leadership, together with parents and most importantly students, chose the new name to symbolise the academy’s forward-moving journey.

“We understand that changing the name won’t bring immediate improvements, but we believe that this fresh start will foster pride among our students, staff, and community, ultimately leading to a positive and widely shared reputation.”

The Trust is putting measures into place to support families with uniform costs, providing new ties for all current students and new name badges for existing blazers to keep the financial impact to a minimum.

Paul Roberts, executive director of the Learning Community Trust, said: “We’re all incredibly excited at what the future holds for New Road Academy under Andrea’s guidance.

“Having come from a high performing, Ofsted outstanding academy in the West Midlands, she is an amazing leader who has incredibly high expectations for student results, their pastoral care and the importance of local community involvement.”
One of the school’s key aims over the coming months is to develop closer links with Telford businesses – and it has started by announcing a new sports kit sponsorship deal with a local employer.

Chris Edwards, operations director of MPH Plumbing, Heating & Bathrooms at Hortonwood, is a keen sportsman with a strong commitment to the area. He said he was delighted to be able to help encourage sport locally.

Pic: New head teacher Andrea Bell with students in the academy’s new uniform, from left, Jessica Ramsay, Omar Mbye, Stacey Karikari and Daniel Wright.

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