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Thomas Deacon Education Trust

New Principal appointed at Richard Barnes Academy

A new Principal has been appointed to lead Richard Barnes Academy, formerly known as Peterborough’s Pupil Referral Unit (PRU).

Nick Morley has taken up the position of Principal at Richard Barnes Academy (RBA). Nick has a strong background in teaching and leading in schools across Cambridgeshire.

He joins Richard Barnes Academy from TBAP multi-academy trust, which supports learners who are experiencing difficulty with or have been excluded from mainstream education. Nick headed up TBAP’s East hub of four schools.

Following approval from the Department for Education, the PRU officially became part of TDET on 1st May 2020. As part of joining the Trust, the previous three units have rebranded and relaunched under the name Richard Barnes Academy.

Richard Barnes Academy provides specialist primary and secondary education for pupils in the city, aged between 4-16, who have been permanently excluded from school, or who are at risk of permanent exclusion. The academy aims to successfully integrate as many of these pupils as possible back into mainstream education.

Speaking about his new role, Nick said: “I have always been passionate about inclusion and supporting learners who have had tricky starts to come out with the good qualifications and skills they need to make positive steps forward with their lives. I was therefore delighted when I was offered this exciting role to lead the new Richard Barnes Academy.

“It has been strange starting a new job in these extraordinary circumstances but I have really enjoyed getting to know my colleagues virtually and have already appointed a senior team who I know will help me drive our strategic approach forward. I am excited to work with our community, parents, pupils, staff, Trust and the local authority to make Richard Barnes Academy a beacon for exemplary practice in the alternative provision sector.”

Chief Executive Officer of TDET, Julie Taylor, said: “We are delighted to have appointed Nick to lead Richard Barnes Academy. He is driven by the same core values as all the members of our Trust and his dedication to inclusion makes him a perfect fit for this role.

“I am excited for us to work together to create an academy that offers enriching experiences for young people in our city struggling to succeed with their education and I cannot wait to see what they can achieve with the right support.”

Richard Barnes Academy is the 7th academy to join the Thomas Deacon Education Trust which is a multi-academy trust that unites and empowers like-minded schools to achieve the very best for its pupils. At the heart of the Trust’s vision is a profound belief that difference is a strength to be valued and celebrated.