Academy's headteacher moves on
HANHAM Woods Academy will lose its principal as he leaves for a new job.
Steve Kneller is leaving to become deputy CEO of a Wiltshire multi-academy trust from September.
He has worked at the school for just over five years and has been at the helm through turbulent times.
Ofsted placed the school in special measures 18 months after he took on the headship, finding it to be “Inadequate” in all areas.
The report stated: “Senior leaders are failing to provide pupils with an acceptable standard of education.
“They have not done enough to improve the quality of teaching, learning and assessment.
“As a result, pupils’ academic achievement has been held back for too long.”
However, by 2018 inspectors found the school was improving and just before the first 2020 lockdown it achieved a “Good” rating.
Inspectors said: “Parents recognise that the headteacher has led a revival in the school’s fortunes.”
Mr Kneller said: “Obviously others will judge my success or otherwise but I am very proud that Hanham Woods Academy was judged Good by Ofsted in November 2019 having been placed in special measures two years earlier.
“Steering the school through a pandemic over the last 18 months, whilst hugely challenging, has also been rewarding in that the academy and community as a whole are emerging stronger as a result.
“Both of those successes and all the others would not be possible without the brilliant team of teachers and academy staff, the support of a very strong trust in Cabot Learning Federation, the loyalty and support of parents but most of all the amazing young people who attend the academy.
“They give me energy every day, they make me laugh and smile, and occasionally cry!
“Every day brings new highlights and new memories that I will take with me. I will miss the academy and the whole community terribly.
“The opportunity to take up a post in Wiltshire as deputy CEO in a small trust is very exciting. To work and support headteachers of, initially, seven schools will be hugely rewarding I am sure.”
Mr Kneller has been vocal in the past about the lack of funding for South Gloucestershire schools and urged members of the public to ask the council to distribute more of its money to schools.
The school, which replaced Hanham High School in 2014, hasn’t yet announced a successor to Mr Kneller.