I am Gillian Middlemas, and I am very proud to be Headteacher of Whitworth Community High School. I was originally an English teacher, held various pastoral and academic leadership roles in schools in Rochdale and Oldham, before joining Haslingden High School in 2005 as Deputy Headteacher. I first came to the school in May 2013 on a temporary secondment, at the request of the local authority, and as part of my school’s commitment to supporting educational developments locally. Having enjoyed leading Whitworth Community High School through an exciting and challenging period, I became the permanent postholder at Easter 2014.
My vision is for us to become an outstanding school and in December 2014 we made a great step in that direction by achieving an Ofsted rating of 'Good' for all aspects of our work. Our policies and practices to keep students safe were validated as 'exemplary' by Ofsted in 2015 and in 2018 we were again judged as 'Good' by Ofsted. Examination results have climbed steadily and this is testament to the high quality teaching and subject expertise of our teachers; the skills and commitment of our associate staff; the support and challenge of our Governing Board; and to the drive and vision of our School Leadership Team.
This is such an exciting time for our school. Our 1960s building is being replaced as part of the DfE's new rebuilding schools project and we are delighted to be part of the pilot - one of the first 12 schools nationally to be involved. We know that our new building will be a flagship school, a symbol of our success, and a local landmark which connects us to our environment, embraces new carbon zero technologies and reflects our mission statement of 'Climbing Higher.'
As an Associate Adviser with the local authority, I have the opportunity to share some of our school’s good practice and also to learn from the schools I support.
My educational philosophy is simple: we have a moral imperative to improve the life chances of all our students and to give them opportunities and experiences which will change their lives and enable them to go on to better the lives of others. I want our young people to be proud of where they come from – of their school and their community - and to be ambitious and aspirational in all they do.
Mrs G Middlemas