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Meet the new principal of Ipswich’s Murrayfield Primary Academy

Claire Willis has been appointed as the new principal of Murrayfield Primary Academy, in Ipswich. Picture: PARADIGM TRUST

Claire Willis has been appointed as the new principal of Murrayfield Primary Academy, in Ipswich. Picture: PARADIGM TRUST

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A teacher who has been “instrumental” in helping a school in Ipswich achieve its best-ever attainment results has been appointed as its new principal.

Claire Willis will take over from Neil Winn as principal at Murrayfield Primary Academy, in Ipswich. Picture: PARADIGM TRUSTClaire Willis will take over from Neil Winn as principal at Murrayfield Primary Academy, in Ipswich. Picture: PARADIGM TRUST

Claire Willis said young people nationwide “certainly have big barriers at the moment in the current situation”.

However, as she prepares to take over as principal at Murrayfield Primary Academy from Neil Winn on January 1, Mrs Willis said the school’s role would be to “make sure they’ve got all the right the skills to make the right choices independently”.

The 42-year-old believes she can use her 20-year experience across primary and secondary schools, including a spell teaching in rural China, to “make the right decisions for those pupils and communities”.

Mrs Willis, who has helped Murrayfield achieve the best attainment results in its history as assistant principal and special educational needs co-ordinator since January 2018, said: “Having that foundation of experience of many different areas of school life to pull upon is so important - because the higher up the leadership chain you go, the decisions become more challenging.

“I want to take the school to our vision of being a great school where we make the biggest difference to the lives of our children.”

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However, Mrs Willis - who previously worked at Ipswich Academy - also wants young people to “think outside maths, English and the day-to-day” and build their wider skills, while maintaning academic success.

She added: “I am absolutely delighted to take on the role of principal at Murrayfield Primary Academy and am committed to ensuring our pupils keep achieving those marginal gains that lead to great progress.

“This will happen by working not only with our teachers but also with the other schools in the Paradigm Trust and our wonderful community.

“During my time as principal, Murrayfield will continue to look at new ways of learning to ensure all our children have access to the education they need to reach their potential.”

Her first job in the new role will be to audit what the school - currently rated as “good” by Ofsted - is doing, before deciding whether to make changes.

Bill Holledge, chief executive of Paradigm Trust - which runs the school - said Mrs Wills had been appointed “following a full and thorough selection process”.

He addedL “She has been a huge support to Neil and his team and instrumental in ensuring the school continues to develop and flourish.”


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