Michael O'Grady to lead new ARK Swift Primary Academy in Hammersmith

ARK Schools is delighted to announce that the Phoenix Canberra Federation in Hammersmith will become an ARK primary academy in September and that current Headteacher, Michael O’ Grady, will continue as the new academy’s headteacher.

Mr O’Grady joined Canberra as interim headteacher in October 2012, beginning the process of raising attainment and transforming it into a high performing primary school. Ofsted confirmed the progress the school was making under his leadership in December saying: “The interim headteacher has ensured that there is a clear focus on developing the quality of teaching with strong support for all teachers and adults to improve. There are strong systems in the school to support newly qualified teachers. Mentoring and support from local schools encourages teachers to develop skills and increase the impact they have in the classroom.”

Canberra will become an ARK primary academy to further accelerate its progress and provide it with the expert support offered by a network with a specific primary focus. The new academy will be the third ARK primary academy in Hammersmith, joining nearby ARK Conway and ARK Bentworth Primary Academies.

The school will become ARK Swift Primary Academy, commemorating the British gold medal winning sailing team in the1948 Olympics and inspired by White City’s Olympic heritage. Swift was the boat sailed by the British gold medal winning sailing team so the name captures the ambition, ability and success that the academy hopes will inspire its pupils.

ARK Schools’ Director of Education, Sophy Blakeway, said: “I am very pleased that Michael O’Grady will be staying on as headteacher of the new ARK Swift Primary Academy. He and his team have worked hard to begin to make Canberra a high performing school for local children. I greatly look forward to Michael and his team joining the ARK Schools family and to working together to make ARK Swift an outstanding school.”

Mr O’Grady said: “I am delighted to be leading Canberra into its new era as ARK Swift Primary Academy. Joining ARK’s strong primary network gives us a real opportunity to accelerate our progress towards becoming an outstanding school for children in the White City area.”