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Banker turned PE teacher takes over as school’s new head

PUBLISHED: 13:13 03 July 2020 | UPDATED: 14:41 03 July 2020

New chief executive of the St Benet�s Multi Academy Trust Richard Cranmer (left) with Robert Connelly (right) who will replace him as headteacher of Archbishop Sancroft High School in Harleston. Picture: James Bass Photography

New chief executive of the St Benet�s Multi Academy Trust Richard Cranmer (left) with Robert Connelly (right) who will replace him as headteacher of Archbishop Sancroft High School in Harleston. Picture: James Bass Photography

(C) JAMES BASS PHOTOGRAPHY

A former banker turned PE teacher has pledged to continue his school’s “unique learning experience” after being appointed its new headteacher.

Archbishop Sancroft High School has 455 pupils and was rated good by Ofsted following conversion to an academy in 2018. Picture: Nick ButcherArchbishop Sancroft High School has 455 pupils and was rated good by Ofsted following conversion to an academy in 2018. Picture: Nick Butcher

Robert Connelly will become headteacher of Archbishop Sancroft High School (ASHS) in Harleston in September.

He takes over from Richard Cranmer who, in his 12 years in charge, oversaw it go from a “satisfactory” Ofsted rating to ‘Good’.

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Mr Connelly, who has worked at ASHS for nine years and has been head of school for the past two years, was inspired to go into teaching having had a very positive local education himself at Dickleburgh Primary School and Diss High School.

Richard Cranmer said the first task in his new role as St Benets Multi Academy Trust CEO will be the full reopening of schools in September. 
Picture: Nick ButcherRichard Cranmer said the first task in his new role as St Benets Multi Academy Trust CEO will be the full reopening of schools in September. Picture: Nick Butcher

After an initial career in investment banking, he retrained as a PE teacher. Looking forward to continuing and developing his leadership role, he said: “I am thrilled to have been appointed as headteacher of this incredible community.

“ASHS as a school offers such a unique learning experience where all aspects of school life are underpinned by Christian values that enable our staff, students and their families to thrive.

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“It is a huge privilege to lead, alongside an incredibly committed and highly skilled group of individuals, a team that I know will continue to give so much to help support and shape the lives of so many.”

Mr Cranmer, who had been headteacher for 12 years, has been appointed the new chief executive of the St Benet’s Multi Academy Trust (MAT), a post that will see him continue to work with his successor.

“For me personally, I am absolutely delighted that Rob will succeed me at our wonderful school,” said Mr Cranmer.

“In my previous job at Notre Dame High School in Norwich I oversaw Newly Qualified Teachers. Back in September 2004 a young PE teacher, called Rob Connelly, arrived for his first teaching post.

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“Even then I was struck by his joy at working with young people and his determination to be the best teacher he could be. It has been a privilege to watch him develop into an outstanding school leader and I have absolutely no doubt that he is the perfect fit to take over the helm from me.”

Speaking about his new role, he added: “It is very likely that St Benet’s MAT will grow considerably over the coming years as more schools join us, so getting firm foundations built on Christian values is going to provide the bedrock for that growth.

“The immediate challenge is of course our response to the Covid crisis. We are now preparing for the full return to schools in September and supporting our head teachers as they explore the best ways to enable children to reconnect with their school.”


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