Scott Gaskins reflects on his time as head of school at new Littleport and East Cambs Academy
It has been an enjoyable two months as head of school at Littleport and East Cambs Academy (LECA) for Scott Gaskins.
East Cambridgeshire’s newest school opened in September and former vice principal of the Neale-Wade Academy in March admits there are a lot of pressures as head – but he is relishing the opportunity.
“There’s a lot of pressure on headteachers,” said Scott.
“It is, as you would expect, terribly hard work. I live the job; I don’t leave the school until I know I’ve answered all the questions that are on my desk.”
Scott is supported by executive principal Jason Wing, and says the Active Learning Trust’s leadership model is one he is thriving in.
“The model I am working in, whereby I have Jason and the wider Trust to discuss issues with if needs be, is really beneficial,” he said.
“It’s fair to say that without the support of the Trust I wouldn’t be sitting here now.
“It allows me – with the changes in GCSEs this year for example – to see how heads of other Trust schools are approaching the problem, and chat about possible solutions.
“This model allows you to grow your own headteacher, if you like. Trusts or groups of schools can build better headteachers by supporting that individual through their progression.
“Because I’ve progressed from a member of senior leadership into this role as head of school, the Trust has been able to nurture and to grow me as a leader, and the result is that they feel confident, and trust in me, to oversee what is a brand new £38 million facility.”
The academy is part of a £30 million site and run by The Active Learning Trust. It opened to students for the first time on Wednesday September 6.
Jason Wing, executive principal of Littleport and East Cambs Academy, Neale-Wade Academy and Burrowmoor Primary School in March, has equally high hopes.
“We’ve got a blank slate of paper here and some very committed staff – we want to hit the ground running.
“Everything has been set against ‘outstanding’ Ofsted criteria.
“We’ve got really great people working with us and when Ofsted come through our doors we want to be an ‘outstanding’ school straight away.”