New head for Churchill

PUBLISHED: 09:00 04 April 2015

Dr Barry Wratten, left, is retiring as head of Churchill Academy and Sixth Form in December 2015.

Dr Barry Wratten, left, is retiring as head of Churchill Academy and Sixth Form in December 2015.


A new headteacher has been chosen at Churchill Academy and Sixth Form, after it was announced that long-serving current head Dr Barry Wratten will retire at the end of 2015.

Chris Hildrew, who is currently the deputy head of Chew Valley School in Chew Magna, will take charge of Churchill in January 2016. Dr Wratten has been at the helm for 13 years.

Ian Poole, chair of Churchill’s governing body, said: “We are delighted to be welcoming Chris to Churchill. He demonstrated passion, enthusiasm and vision over the course of the three-day interview panel.

“The governing body made a unanimous decision to appoint him.”

A statement from Dr Wratten, which was issued to Churchill students and parents, read: “The school held its breath last week as our governors sought a successor for me as headteacher.

“Many people, including students and staff, were involved in the process. But our hard-working governor recruitment panel chose Chris on the last of three days of interviews, after an exhaustive process.

“There will be plenty of time to get to know Chris better over the coming months.”

Mr Hildrew, an English and media studies teacher, describes himself as ‘passionately committed to state education’ on his online blog.

He tweeted last week: “I’m thrilled to announce that I have been appointed as headteacher at Churchill Academy to start in January 2016. Thanks to all who helped me.”

The appointment of a new headteacher comes at an exciting time for Churchill, which is rated as a ‘good’ school with ‘a number of outstanding features’ by Ofsted. It recently received national recognition for students’ GCSE achievements from the Schools, Students and Teachers Network (SSAT). It was placed in the top 20 per cent nationally for student progress and in the top 10 per cent for high attainment at GCSE by SSAT.

Dr Wratten said at the time: “Churchill thrives due to the dedication and hard work of the staff here, and the willingness and determination of our students.”

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