Jonathan Johnson, new Principle of West Lakes Academy

Jonathan Johnson, new Principle of West Lakes Academy

EGREMONT’S West Lakes Academy is starting the new year with a new principal. Jonathan Johnson was previously head teacher of Maryport’s Netherhall School.

He said: “It is heartening to lead an educational institution where my values resonate with the vision of the sponsors. I intend to maximise the potential of their gift to the community of Egremont and West Cumbria.”

Mr Johnson takes over from Vanessa Ray who has been praised and thanked by the chair of governors, Adrian Thompson, for ‘fundamentally transforming’ the performance of the academy.

He said: “Students now consistently receive an educational experience that is of a very high quality and their exam results compare favourably with other reputable schools, locally and nationally. Testimony to the improvements are that the governors consistently get great feedback from parents and staff in the sponsor organisations and in the last two or three years we have seen record numbers of students joining the academy in year seven.  This has been a difficult journey, as transformation requires a demanding leader who is always looking for improvements. However, overcoming these challenges has made the academy a much better place to work for staff and created a great learning environment for students.”
In his welcome statement to staff and pupils, Mr Johnson spoke about the power of learning. He said:

“Your children must feel free to learn without barriers and without excuses. There can be no excuse for any of us in this partnership for not doing our utmost to ensure that every child feels they’re learning freely in the best and most liberating environment in this area. You can be assured that your children can expect to achieve highly because we expect it of them. We will continue to be unrelenting in the pursuit of their highest standards.”

“In turn, I require your full and unwavering support. The academy has already proven its worth under Mrs Ray’s leadership; the teaching, facilities and opportunities the students have here are unparalleled and sending your children to us is a mark of trust in our reputation. The students I have met already are a credit to the academy, their families and the community. They are polite and courteous and these values, along with being honest and trustworthy, I prize above all else because they stand the test of time. Alongside the best education possible, I want them to learn that their real wealth doesn’t necessarily exist in the abundance of their possessions, but rather in an outstanding character and reputation. Some may consider it an old fashioned view but politeness and courtesy never go out of fashion.”

And he spoke about the academy’s important role in the community. He said:

“As the proud principal of this wonderful academy I’ve an overwhelming sense of duty to give Egremont and the West Coast a legacy of world class education. It sounds grand; however my words aren’t about this introduction, but a campaign based on having no excuse for accepting anything less.”

And he added: “As I consider what lies ahead in my first term, I can already appreciate how much there is to do and I relish the challenge. I hope to meet you in the coming months as we work together, to ensure that we maximise each and every opportunity that comes our way.”