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Four new head teachers appointed 25 July 2007

FOUR new head teachers have been appointed, the Department of Education is pleased to announce.

Bronwen Udy will take up her post at Andreas and Bride School from the start of the autumn term, replacing acting head Shirley Smith, who is retiring this week.

After gaining a Bachelor of Education degree at London University, Mrs Udy taught for 21 years in Yorkshire.

During the 1990s she worked as part of the North Yorkshire Local Authority Partnership, ensuring the introduction of quality nursery education for four year olds.

Mrs Udy is married to Robert, a chartered quantity surveyor, and they have two daughters, Rachel, a chartered accountant, and Megan, a teacher, both of whom live and work in the Island.

Mrs Udy’s maternal family is from Ramsey and both her maternal grandparents were pupils at Andreas School 100 years ago. Since moving to the Island in 2000, Mrs Udy has taught at Braddan School and Auldyn School, where she has been deputy for five years.

During this period she successfully completed her National Professional Qualification for Headship (NPQH).

She said:

‘Andreas and Bride is entering a very exciting phase as a community split site school. I am looking forward to leading the staff team with Will Nelson, the recently appointed deputy head teacher, to build a challenging educational environment that truly benefits all the pupils and enriches the communities in the north of the Island.’

Jean Aksoy has been appointed head teacher of Laxey Primary School in place of Judith Lund, who is now in charge at Peel Clothworkers’ Primary School.

Mrs Aksoy was born and educated in Liverpool. She worked in banking for eight years in Liverpool and Scotland. She then spent time at home for five years looking after her young family. She attended Liverpool Hope University College for four years as a mature student and graduated with a first class honours degree in education and geography.

Mrs Aksoy said:

‘I came to the Island to teach due to family connections. I spent all my childhood holidays on the Island up in Agneash. My first teaching post was at Laxey in 1997 as a newly qualified teacher. I have lived and worked in Laxey for the past 10 years and feel very much part of the community. It is lovely walking along Laxey beach and stopping to talk to both past and present pupils.’

She added:

‘I have been very happy at Laxey School over the past 10 years. The children and staff are wonderful to work with and the parents are very supportive.’

A keen walker who recently completed the End-to-End race, Mrs Aksoy is also learning to play the harp. In her spare time she is studying for a Masters degree in educational leadership.

Mrs Aksoy said:

‘I am very excited about the recent changes in education based upon the Department's Freedom to Flourish curriculum document and I am looking forward to continuing to develop creative ways of delivering the curriculum at Laxey School for the educational benefits of Laxey children.’

Braddan School is also to have a new head following the retirement this week of Sheila Loaring, the head of 12 years. Louise Oates will take up the post in September.

Mrs Oates grew up in Warrington and completed a degree in biology and environmental studies at Manchester Polytechnic. She initially worked as a microbiologist in London, but decided to study for a PGCE with the Open University. She then taught in Surrey for eight years.

Mrs Oates is married to Steve, who is part of the Ramsey lifeboat crew. They have a daughter, Sally, who plays in Ramsey Town Band. Mrs Oates enjoys long walks with her dog and likes to relax by travelling on the Manx Electric Railway.

After moving to the Island five years ago, Mrs Oates worked at Cronk-y-Berry School, where she completed her NPQH. She moved to Ashley Hill School as deputy head two years ago.

Mrs Oates said:

‘I am very excited about taking up my new post. I am looking forward to building new relationships with the children, staff and parents and ensuring that Braddan school is a happy and successful place to be for everyone.’

At Michael School Tony Robinson takes over as head teacher, succeeding Jeanette Hamer, who has retired. Mr Robinson was brought up in Newcastle upon Tyne, where he studied for a BSc in chemistry at Newcastle Polytechnic.

He worked as a medical rep for nine years before returning to college to study for a PGCE. Mr Robinson moved to the Island with his wife, Jacqui, and three children in July 1991 and started teaching at Andreas that September.

He moved to Michael School as acting deputy head teacher in January 2000 and has been acting head teacher since Easter 2006.

He said:

‘I have an excellent staff at Michael and there is a strong community feel to the school. I am looking forward with excitement to continuing my work at Michael and ensuring that the children have a full and exciting curriculum, living up to the school motto of “Work hard, aim high, have fun”.’

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