OAT Principals chosen for key school support role

The Principals and staff at two OAT have been selected for a top role supporting schools and academies in challenging circumstances.


Andrew Burns, who leads Ormiston Forge Academy and Marie McMahon, who is the Executive Principal at Ormiston Sandwell Community Academy  have been appointed to the role of national leader of education (NLE) by the National College of Teaching and Leadership, part of the Department for Education.

NLEs along with staff in their school – designated a national support school (NSS) – use their success and professionalism to provide additional leadership capability in other schools. They are deployed to suit the needs of each school needing support. The type of support provided is flexible and can sometimes involve NLEs becoming executive headteachers. They also have responsibility for developing the next generation of NLEs and national support schools.

Andrew Burns, Principal at Ormiston Forge Academy, said:

"It’s an incredible honour to receive this designation on behalf of the academy and I am looking forward to supporting other schools on their journey towards improvement. “Our commitment to the young people at Forge remains unwavering, but we are now able to extend the reach of the Forge effect and make an even bigger difference."

Marie McMahon, Executive Principal at Ormiston Sandwell Community Academy, said:

"I am so proud that all the fantastic work we have been doing at Ormiston Sandwell Community Academy over the last few years has been recognised by the awarding of this status. As well as continuing to strive for excellence here at OSCA, we are delighted we will now be able to share our expertise to help drive improvement in other schools too."

Many NLEs/NSSs report improved outcomes at the schools they support.

Roger Pope, Chair of the National College for Teaching and Leadership, said:

"It’s fantastic that heads like Andrew have the passion and ambition to help improve the life chances of young people, not just in their own but in other schools as well. The aim of national leaders of education is to drive improvement in underperforming schools. We now have over 1,200 NLEs and we’re working to increase this number further to spread educational excellence everywhere."

Successful heads have been invited to attend a formal induction and training event for the role in driving school improvement.