New head plans for bright future

Eddie Wilkes, the new headteacher at Highfields School, Matlock.
Eddie Wilkes, the new headteacher at Highfields School, Matlock.

A Matlock school has a brand new headteacher – and he’s looking forward to the challenges ahead.

Eddie Wilkes started as the headteacher at the Upper Lumsdale school this week.

He has taken over from Dr Ramsey Tetlow, who stepped down at Easter after five years at the helm.

Mr Wilkes, 50, said: “I’m looking forward to the challenge. I warmed to the school during the interview process and I quickly decided I’d like to be the headteacher here. When I was offered the job I leapt at it.

“I want to make a school that is giving the very best of opportunities and life challenges for youngsters. I’d like us to be a happy school.”

Mr Wilkes was previously the headteacher at Madeley High School, in Staffordshire, and the deputy headteacher at Leek High School. He has three grown up daughters and two grandchildren.

He added: “We want to make a school where we feel we’re working together to give the best of learning opportunities in the widest sense. It’s not just about exam success, it’s about learning in its broadest terms.

“Not every child can walk out of school with ten A-stars but that doesn’t mean they can’t walk out with an awful lot of life experience. We’ve got to make sure that youngsters are ready for the world.”

Chair of governors Atholl Donaldson welcomed Mr Wilkes.

He said: “Chosen from a strong field of candidates, Mr Wilkes was the unanimous choice of the governors. Their decision is strongly supported by the local authority.

“The governors were particularly impressed by his strong sense of purpose, his belief in an inclusive school community and his commitment to have excellence at the heart of the experience of every child at the school.

“The governing body looks forward to working with Mr Wilkes and building on the school’s undoubted successes under Dr Tetlow’s leadership.”

Outgoing headteacher Ramsey Tetlow wrote to parents before the Easter holidays thanking them for their support over the past five years.

“I have many happy memories of Highfields and hope that I have made a contribution to its development. I have found the students some of the best I have had the pleasure to work with,” he wrote.