Rising star to take the helm at Ormiston Ilkeston Enterprise Academy

One of Ormiston Academies Trust’s rising stars is to take over as Principal of Ormiston Ilkeston Enterprise Academy (OIEA) when the current head leaves at the end of the academic year.

Nia Salt

Nia Salt has been Vice Principal at Ormiston Sir Stanley Matthews Academy (OSSMA), in Stoke-on-Trent, for the last five years, and will start at OIEA in September. During her time as part of the senior leadership team at OSSMA, the Academy’s attendance record surpassed the national average for the first time in its history, and its GCSE results have been consistently above both the national and local authority average.

Before joining the Ormiston family, Nia was Assistant Principal at Sir William Stanier Academy, in Crewe. She is a specialist in behaviour and attendance, having worked as a consultant at East Cheshire Council and having led a unit for pupils with behavioural difficulties at Victoria Community School, in Crewe.

The current Principal of OIEA, Dave Smith, has decided to leave the Academy after finding the demands of the job increasingly incompatible with a long commute and young family. Mr Smith joined the school in January 2013 before being appointed permanent Principal later that year. Under his leadership, and since Ormiston Academies Trust (OAT) became sponsor of OIEA, GCSE results have almost doubled, from 24 per cent of students achieving at least five GCSEs at C or better including in English and maths in 2012 to 44 per cent last year.

An Ofsted report earlier this year also praised OIEA for the "accelerated improvements in teaching quality through the consistent application of rigorous performance management and a high-quality programme of professional development for teachers". Inspectors were also impressed by students’ progress and behaviour.

Nia Salt said:

"Everyone at OSSMA and across the community has been fabulous to work with, and so welcoming, kind and supportive.

"It is because of everyone here that I feel confident and excited to take the next step in my career, and come to a school with the potential of OIEA. Dave has put in place great foundations for me to build on, and I can’t wait to get started at OIEA."

Dave Smith said:

"It has been a privilege to lead Ormiston Ilkeston Enterprise Academy over the last three years and I am very proud of the improvements that are shown through our higher GCSE results. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the students, parents, staff and governors for their support throughout my time here, as well as that of the senior team at Ormiston Academies Trust.

"Deciding to leave has not been easy, but it has become increasingly difficult for me to balance the demands of a busy and important job with those of my young family and a long commute. I know that Ormiston Ilkeston Enterprise Academy is in safe hands with Ormiston as its sponsor, and with Nia as the new Principal, and I look forward to seeing the school continue on its upward journey."

Julie Bloor, Executive Head and Regional Director of Ormiston Academies Trust, said:

"We are sad to be losing Dave, but understand his reasons and are very grateful to him for the excellent work he has done at the school. He has put in place the foundations for sustained improvement, as recognised by Ofsted recently. We are pleased that Dave will remain in post until the end of summer.

"We are very excited to see Nia progress with us to be Principal of OIEA. Her experience and expertise means she will continue the excellent progress already made at OIEA and ensure its continued success."