Barbara visited Harrop Fold High School to present Dr Antony Edkins with a personal message from the Schools Secretary Ed Balls, following news that Dr Edkins is leaving his post as Head teacher of the school on 31 January.
Ed Balls had visited the school last April and he wrote the letter of support after hearing from Barbara that Dr Edkins was due to leave for a new post.
In the letter, Ed Balls thanked Dr Edkins for his six years service to the school and to the wider community in Salford. He said that he felt the improvements in attainment, behaviour and attendance during this time “will be felt for many years to come, and most importantly in the lives of your pupils.” He wished Antony Edkins the very best for his new role and said he trusted Dr Edkins would continue to use his leadership and dedication to benefit the young people of our country.
Barbara visited Harrop Fold to hand the letter to Dr Edkins in person and to wish him well for the future. She also talked with the new Head teacher, Drew Povey, about the work to continue the school’s rapid improvement.
“I know that Ed was very impressed by the achievements of Antony and all the staff, governors and pupils at Harrop Fold when he accepted my invitation to visit the school last April. His personal letter to Antony Edkins shows that the Schools Secretary now feels Harrop Fold has become an excellent example of school improvement, and I agree with his comments.
“I also wish Antony Edkins all the very best in his new role and I am glad that he will still be involved locally with the Salford Academy. I hope to work with Harrop Fold’s new Head Teacher, Drew Povey, to see the school continue its dramatic improvements.”
The letter from Ed Balls said:
“Your leadership and the hard work of your staff have transformed Harrop Fold from a struggling school in special measures to an excellent example of school improvement.
“I am particularly impressed by the 20% improvement in 5 A* to C including English and Maths attainment to 39% in two years, taking Harrop Fold out of National Challenge and giving even more pupils a solid foundation for the future.”
Barbara with Dr Antony Edkins at Harrop Fold High School
Barbara and Ed Balls speak to a Harrop Fold student during the Schools Secretary's visit in April 2009