Former Neale-Wade vice principal D’Cunha put in charge of Suffolk New Academy

Craig D'Cunha with deputy minister Nick Clegg.

Craig D'Cunha with deputy minister Nick Clegg. - Credit: Archant

The former vice principal of Neale-Wade Academy has been tasked with turning around struggling Suffolk New Academy.

Craig D’Cunha, who left his post at Neale-Wade on February 13, has been appointed head teacher of the 650-pupil Suffolk New Academy in Chantry, which entered Special Measures in December after being described as “inadequate” by Ofsted.

Mr D’Cunha is one of the first head teachers to be appointed as part of the Talented Leaders programme, which finds head teachers for schools in deprived areas of the country.

He was selected from more than 100 applicants to be part of Talented Leaders and will be supported in his work by national education charity The Future Leaders Trust.

Mr D’Cunha said: “Suffolk was one of the first local authorities to come on board with the Talented Leaders programme and I’m really pleased to be working here.

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“It’s a diverse area with as many poorer areas as wealthy and I want to make sure that every child has opportunity and choice to change their future.

“My new school, Suffolk New Academy, has been through challenging times recently but it has enormous potential. I believe that the staff, students, community will make this an outstanding school.”

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Neale-Wade principal Jason Wing paid tribute to his former colleague, who had been at the school for almost a decade.

He said: “He has been an outstanding teacher at Neale-Wade for almost a decade and I have had the pleasure of working with him for just over three years.

“I shall miss his dedicated approach to driving up standards and his expertise. I know that he will be a successful principal and that our loss is their gain.”

As part of Talented Leaders, Mr D’Cunha will be supported by The Future Leaders Trust and other local head teachers within the programme.

The school will also receive a £50,000 Leadership Sustainability Fund to support his work.

Heath Monk, chief executive of The Future Leaders Trust, said: “Some areas find it harder to recruit and retain head teachers and that has meant some schools and students have underachieved. That needs to change.

“We’ve found some exceptional people who are determined to see young people achieve.

“Craig has been chosen for his expertise and experience, and it’s clear he’s fully committed to leading staff and students at New Suffolk Academy to great success.”

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