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News21st May 2012

ARK Schools launches Birmingham hub to support academy expansion.

ARK Schools will sponsor the new ARK Kings Academy which opens in September following the decision of Kings Norton High School to become an ARK academy in pursuit of their ambition to make Kings Norton High School an outstanding school. Today ARK announces the appointment of Kieran Larkin as the principal of ARK Kings Academy.

The governors’ decision to make Kings Norton an ARK academy, followed consultation with parents, pupils, staff and the community, led by outgoing Headteacher Denise Burns. ARK Schools runs a network of high achieving and fast improving academies in Birmingham, London and Portsmouth and is the sponsor of St Alban’s Academy in Highgate, the tenth most improved academy in the country for raising GCSE attainment.

Mr Larkin succeeds Denise Burns who led the proposal to become an academy and is now retiring. Since 2009 he has been ARK Schools’ Director of Education Services, working closely with ARK’s Director of Education to raise attainment across ARK’s academies and running ARK Schools’ network-wide monitoring and assessment programme. Before joining ARK Schools he worked in the Department for Children, Schools and Families’ National Strategies team on raising school standards and attainment and also for Kent and East Sussex County Councils as part of their school effectiveness teams. Mr Larkin has also been a deputy headteacher and a maths and ICT teacher in East Sussex.

Kings Norton High School will open as ARK Kings Academy in September, a name chosen by pupils and staff to mark both the academy’s ambition and its heritage. Mr Larkin is working with the continuing chair of governors, Guy McElvoy, and with Ms Burns and the schools leadership team over the next few months to get the new academy off to a strong start in September.

ARK Schools’ managing director Lucy Heller said: “I’m delighted that Kieran Larkin is to be the principal of ARK Kings Academy. Over the last three years he has worked extremely closely with staff at all of our academies working on every detail of the strategies they need to enable every pupil to achieve success. I think he will be an outstanding principal for ARK Kings and I wish him every success.

“I would also like to thank, in particular, Denise Burns who has contributed so much to Kings Norton’s progress as well as Guy McElvoy and the governors whose commitment to the school made its transition to being an academy possible. This is a really important step for Kings Norton High School and I hope they will be proud of what the new academy and its pupils achieve in future years.

“I’m pleased that the opening of ARK Kings Academy will cement ARK Schools’ presence in Birmingham as a preferred partner of the local authority. We will recruiting staff to support our academies in Birmingham and are committed to building on St Albans Academy’s success in other schools.”
Kieran Larkin said:

“I am thrilled to be appointed the principal of ARK Kings Academy and I look forward to working with staff and getting to know pupils and parents as we prepare to open in September. The school has worked hard to raise attainment. We will build on that progress to ensure that ARK Kings pupils achieve all that they are capable of and have a really successful future.”