A Coventry school has appointed a new senior leadership team which is passionate about supporting pupils to thrive and is set to launch a new development project which will benefit the whole community.

Cardinal Wiseman Catholic School, part of the Romero Catholic Academy, has promoted Matthew Everett from Head of School to Principal.

He is joined by Laura Burtonwood who has been promoted to Vice Principal and Zoe Seth who has joined the school as Operations Manager. In addition, Amy Hirons and Leanne Wale have taken on more senior roles as Senior Assistant Vice Principals until the end of the year to oversee Pastoral and Academic matters respectively.

Matthew, originally from Teesside and who currently lives in Derbyshire, joined Cardinal Wiseman as Assistant Vice Principal in 2017. He has gone on to become Vice Principal and Head of School, supporting the school in its delivery of a high-quality academic curriculum.

In his new role as Principal, Matthew will be working with the senior leadership team to continue the positive work that has already been done, to ensure the 1400 pupils receive an outstanding education during their seven years at the school.

He is also set to launch a major development project which will see the school’s hall transformed into a modern theatre which will not only be used by pupils, but also children from the primary schools within the Academy as well as the local community, and a major refurbishment programme for the humanities and science blocks.

The growth of the school, which now has waiting lists for Years 7, 8 and 9 and a sixth form which has doubled in size in the last three years, will also see the creation of new breakout areas to support pupils with their studies.

Matthew said: “Since joining Cardinal Wiseman I have always thought that there is more potential ready to be unlocked throughout the school – we now need to continue the good work that’s been done and help bring out the best in the pupils and staff.

“I absolutely love working at our school, and although I don’t currently live locally, it’s certainly worth the commute, so I’m thrilled to have been promoted to Principal.

“The school is passionate about delivering a curriculum that will get pupils on to the next stages of their lives, whether that is an apprenticeship, moving on to the world of work or to university.

“A key priority at the moment is working on making staff and students feel reassured and safe during Covid and it’s fantastic to have such a strong leadership team to support with this.

“Laura has been working hard with staff to establish which areas students most need to catch up on, while Zoe has set up a school testing centre from scratch where in the first two weeks alone of students returning, we carried out more than 3,500 tests.

“We also have a flourishing enrichment programme which we are continuing to develop to support pupils who have spent so long away from the classroom, with groups ranging from languages and creative writing societies to DJ, film and art clubs – all run by teachers who are passionate about the subjects.

“Some of the next big projects for us will be a number of developments at the school, including transforming our hall into a theatre which will be great for our pupils and staff, but also for our fantastic local community to use.

“It’s an incredibly exciting time at Cardinal Wiseman and I am delighted to be leading the school going forward.”

Helen Quinn, CEO at Romero Catholic Academy, said: “Mr Everett brings a strong faith dimension to his love of education and service to the school community.

“I am confident he will continue to build on the existing collaborative relationships among the staff, parents and partner primary schools while providing the students with opportunities to deepen their faith, engage in life-long learning and reach their God-given potential.

“He has been instrumental in some of the excellent work that has already taken place at Cardinal Wiseman in the last three years and is well placed to lead the school along with an extremely strong leadership team.”

Picture caption: Laura Burtonwood and Matthew Everett