New head at outstanding rated school

Jo Sharples (centre) has been appointed as the new headteacher of Laneshaw Bridge Primary School. Pic: Karen Clark
Jo Sharples (centre) has been appointed as the new headteacher of Laneshaw Bridge Primary School. Pic: Karen Clark

A new headteacher has been appointed at an outstanding rated Pendle primary school.

Jo Sharples has been named the headteacher at Laneshaw Bridge Primary School which has been rated outstanding by Ofsted in its last three inspections.

Mrs Sharples was put in charge of the school just before Christmas with Dr Paul Parkin, headteacher at Park High School, acting as temporary executive headteacher.

This was after executive headteacher Eileen Bleasdale decided to retire, citing her husband’s ill health and a desire to spend more time with her family, and Natalie Robinson, who was acting headteacher, was off sick on the long term.

Dr Parkin will step down from his temporary position but will continue as a governor and a school advisor.

The appointment of Mrs Sharples means she has gone from a student teacher at Laneshaw Bridge to headteacher in a 10 year period.

Mrs Sharples said: “I’m thrilled. It’s a lovely place to work. All the staff are very good and are great people to work with.

“It’s been an exciting journey for me but we are a very good team and it is quite amazing the way we work together.

“I think the most important thing for me is that the children come back (in September) to an outstanding, happy school which provides the best education and best memories for the children.

“We need to continue to be inventive and creative. It’s all about that children, that is why we are here.”

Chairman of Governors, Paul White, said: “Mrs Sharples came to Laneshaw Bridge as a student teacher and has taught Years 3, 4 and 6, has been our Deputy Head and then our Acting Headteacher since Christmas.

“She is an outstanding teacher, and one of the best school leaders I have ever met.

“She is more than capable of taking our outstanding school on the next stage of its journey.

“I look forward to working with her, and offer her my warmest congratulations as we all do.”

Mrs Sharples will start her role on September 1st and the governing body will interview for the position of deputy headteacher in the new term.