Mark Bedford, currently Acting Head of School at Workington Academy, has been selected to be its new Headteacher from September.

Mr Bedford has been with the academy since it was formed in 2015 from the merger of Stainburn School and Southfield Technology College, becoming part of CET. He has been a member of the senior team that has seen the academy’s fortunes transformed, with year-on-year growth in student numbers to more than 1,200 and a first ‘Good’ Ofsted rating in 2022.

Mr Bedford follows in the footsteps of former academy headteacher Des Bird, after the latter was confirmed in a new role with CET as its Director of Secondary Improvement, supporting all the Trust’s secondary schools.

Mr Bird said: “Mark has performed extremely well in the role, continuing to drive the academy forward.

“His passion and commitment to students and the local community is unrivalled. He brings a wealth of experience to the role and has a clear vision and ambition to continue the improvement the academy has seen over the last few years.”

Mr Bedford will be supported by Blake Hendren, who has been appointed as Deputy Headteacher. Mr Hendren has been an Assistant Headteacher at the academy since 2018 and, Mr Bird said, he had played an important role in its upward trajectory.

Mr Bedford said: “I am delighted to be given this opportunity to lead Workington Academy through the next stage of its development.

“The academy, its staff, supporters and students, past and present, have been on quite a journey over the last eight years. We have enjoyed some tremendous successes, and overcome quite a few challenges as well, and I look forward to seeing our students continue to progress and achieve their goals.”

Mr Bedford joined the academy as Deputy Headteacher and later also took on responsibility for the launch of West Coast Sixth Form in collaboration with The Whitehaven Academy.

He has worked as a middle and senior leader at William Howard School, is an experienced Science teacher and had stints at schools in Yorkshire and Lincolnshire.