A FORMER Calderdale schoolgirl has been appointed head teacher of Crossley Heath Grammar School.
Brighouse-born Wendy Moffat joined it in 2001 as an assistant head with a brief to boost the pastoral focus on students.
She now believes that to be on a par with the acclaimed academic achievements at the foundation school with specialisms in language and leadership.
A team of four non-teaching staff were recruited to work purely on pastoral matters and Mrs Moffat said an “old school” image had now been left behind.
“Pastoral support is now outstanding and any problems are picked up really quickly,” said Mrs Moffat, who has also been a deputy head and since last June acting head.
She is now relishing leading a team of 70 teachers, 70 support staff and over 1,000 students through challenging times.
“The next step, which is logical for this school, is to consider academy status and we have had a lot of discussions,” she said.
Academy schools have full control of decision-making and it is a route many schools are going down.
Added to that, is the uncertainty of what the local authority set-up will be like in a few years as financial cutbacks force decision-making, said Mrs Moffat.
She is hopeful that, whatever decisions are taken, Crossley Heath’s close relationship with its neighbouring shcools, Halifax High, Ryburn Valley High, Sowerby Bridge and Ravenscliffe, will continue to flourish.
Another priority for Mrs Moffat is to ensure teaching standards are of the highest order to maintain the “outstanding” Ofsted status ahead of tough new inspection rules.
Mrs Moffat attended Brighouse Girls’ Grammar School and lives in the town. She has an English degree and started her teaching career in Derby.
She returned north and spent four years at the former Haugh Shaw Secondary School and eight years at Rastrick High School before joining Crossley Heath.
“I love this school and I feel I am in a really good position to take the school - which is a strong school in a good position - forward,” she said.
“The academic results are so good but I will be making sure children get lots of other experiences as well and it’s not just an exam hot-house.”
She said staff and students had been supportive since her recent appointment and everybody was pulling together.
“This school is going to blossom and I am delighted the governors gave me this opportunity,” she said.