Speculation ends as Essa super head Showk Badat says he has left school 'for a new challenge’
THE headteacher of Essa Academy has left the school, it has been confirmed.
Showk Badat, who was appointed principal of Bolton’s first academy school, says he is ready for a new challenge and thanked staff, children and parents for their support in transforming the former Hayward School into successful establishment.
He has been on leave for several weeks, and the school last month denied that he had resigned.
Mr Badat has been head of the Great Lever school for five years and in that time standards have soared rapidly and plans are under way to open a free primary school next September, transforming Essa into a super school.
Under his leadership, Essa Academy became the first school in the country to give its pupils iPads to enhance learning, and it has attracted the attention of the country’s top schools and ministers, in the UK and abroad.
Mr Badat said he was ready to move on only weeks after school bosses dismissed rumours that he had resigned. He said: “The time is right for me to move forward and to find a new challenge and do the same again elsewhere where help is needed.”
Mr Badat, added: “I would like to thank the children for the passion they have for their work, the parents who have been incredibly supportive and the caring and hard-working staff and their relentless efforts and constant belief in each and every child. I have had fantastic support from the local authority.”
The school has not announced who will now become headteacher.
Since Mr Badat’s leave of absence in mid-November, deputy headteacher Jeff Ellis has been taking care of the day-to-day running of the 811-pupil school.
In a statement, Anwer Patel, the chairman of governors, said: “It has been agreed by the chair of governing body of Essa Academy and Mr Badat that the time is now right for him to leave the academy today to pursue further career opportunities.
“We would like to thank Mr Badat for his considerable contribution, hardwork and dedication in turning around significantly the failing fortunes of the predecessor school and leaving behind a legacy of sustainable growth for the successful Essa Academy in Bolton.
“We wish him well for the future.”
Since arriving as headteacher, Mr Badat has built up an international reput-ation for the academy, which opened in a storm of protest in 2009.
It is sponsored by the Patel brothers, the entrepreneurs behind Cohens Chemist, and Bolton Council.
Government inspectors have also praised the school.
Ofsted reported: “Actions arising from the principal’s pursuit of excellence have had considerable impact on improving academic outcomes and students’ personal development and well-being.”
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