Haverhill school principal to step down after 13 years

Madeleine Vigar, centre, with the head teacher, head boy and girl of each school in the Castle Partnership Academy Trust.'Contributed picture ANL-160601-090355001
Madeleine Vigar, centre, with the head teacher, head boy and girl of each school in the Castle Partnership Academy Trust.'Contributed picture ANL-160601-090355001

Madeleine Vigar is to leave her post of executive principal of the Castle Partnership Academy Trust at Easter to set up an education consultancy after almost 13 years leading schools across Haverhill.

Ms Vigar was appointed as headteacher of Castle Manor Upper School in September 2003.

Together with the then chairman of governors, Alan Pearson, was the architect of the Trust’s current all through education system which seeks “to improve the life chances of all our children and young people whatever their backgrounds, skills and capabilities.”

Ms Vigar said: “When I arrived at Castle Manor as headteacher, I insisted that students wore the correct uniform - it caused quite a stir and, much to my horror, made the front page of the local newspapers!

“I quickly became very proud of our students, who went on to become excellent leaders and they continue to impress with their professionalism, resilience, optimism, understanding and drive.

“I think that it is vital that primary and secondary schools work together to ensure the best outcomes for pupils and students.”

Ms Vigar will continue to work with school leaders and will no doubt continue to champion the all-through approach, saying: “The Castle Partnership Academy Trust has a long-term goal which is now well underway.

“I am proud to have led these schools on this first part of their All-Through journey. I feel enormously privileged to have worked with very many fantastic people in our town.

“I have thoroughly enjoyed working with the children, young people, staff, governors and parents at our three schools and am confident that they will go from strength to strength.”

The Partnership is committed to all-through education, firmly believing that a love of learning should be nurtured from a very young age and that “the traditional phases of education should be integrated to secure continuity, progression and high standards”

The Castle Partnership Academy Trust has embraced this vision and has grown to include Burton End Primary Academy, Castle Manor Academy and Place Farm Primary Academy.

They now deliver a new unique all-through PROUD Curriculum, which ensures young people benefit from an innovative learning experience.

A number of teachers now teaching in the three schools were pupils at Castle Manor when Ms Vigar was first appointed as headteacher.

Ms Vigar shares a passion for Haverhill as her paternal grandfather, Fred Barber was born in Crowland Road, and she still has family in the town.

During her time as a school leader in Haverhill, Ms Vigar has led Castle Manor Upper School, which became Castle Manor Business and Enterprise College, Castle Hill Middle School, Place Farm Community Primary School and Burton End Primary School.

All three remaining schools have since become academies as part of the Castle Partnership Academy Trust.

She and her leadership team ensured that all three schools achieved Ofsted accredited success, moving Castle Manor to outstanding in 2010.

Ms Vigar is a National Leader of Education, an Ofsted Inspector and Chair of the Suffolk Association of Secondary Headteachers.

She will be running her own education consultancy, extending her work mentoring new headteachers.

John Baillie, chairman of the Castle Partnership Academy Trust, said: “Madeleine Vigar has left an indelible mark on education in Haverhill, which I know will continue to reap rewards for years to come.

“I’d like to join with people from across our schools in thanking her for the time she has invested locally.

“The board of directors is confident that Ms Vigar leaves the trust and its academies with leadership teams who will continue to deliver excellent education for young people inHaverhill and beyond.

“Ms Vigar is supporting the board in developing a succession plan and we are working with the Regional Schools Commissioner to ensure that the vision of the trust continues to develop.”