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Well-known headteacher steps down after 12 years

PUBLISHED: 14:39 20 June 2020 | UPDATED: 09:10 21 June 2020

Richard Cranmer has stepped down as headteacher of Archbishop Sancroft High School in Harleston.
 Picture: Nick Butcher

Richard Cranmer has stepped down as headteacher of Archbishop Sancroft High School in Harleston. Picture: Nick Butcher

Archant © 2018

A popular headteacher is stepping down after 12 years at a school that he has transformed from a “satisfactory” Ofsted rating – widely regarded as a euphemism for a poor school – to a successful academy.

Richard Cranmer took over as headteacher of Archbishop Sancroft High School in Harleston in 2008.
 Picture: Nick ButcherRichard Cranmer took over as headteacher of Archbishop Sancroft High School in Harleston in 2008. Picture: Nick Butcher

Richard Cranmer took over as headteacher of Archbishop’s Sancroft High School in Harleston back in 2008. He is leaving to become the new chief executive of St Benet’s Multi Academy Trust (MAT).

The keen sailor has steered the secondary to strong results – including an outstanding Anglican and Methodist Schools inspection in 2017 – and a ‘good’ Ofsted rating before overseeing its conversion to an academy in 2018.

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He said: “Throughout my career, I have been very fortunate to work with some wonderful people, some brilliant governors and many highly talented staff and students and none more so than here at ASHS.

In his 12 years as headteacher Richard Cranmer has overseen improved education standards and the conversion of Archbishop Sancroft High School in Harleston into an academy.
 Picture: Nick ButcherIn his 12 years as headteacher Richard Cranmer has overseen improved education standards and the conversion of Archbishop Sancroft High School in Harleston into an academy. Picture: Nick Butcher

“It has been a privilege to lead such an amazing school and I will miss working directly with such a great group of staff and students.”

Having become part-time CEO of MAT in 2018 while continuing as executive headteacher at Archbishop’s Sancroft, he is now handing over the reins full-time to interim head of school Robert Connelly ahead of the appointment of a new headteacher.

Mr Cranmer began his career in farm management, working on the Blenheim Estate, but eventually returned to Norfolk and became head of science at Notre Dame High School.

Richard Cranmer has stepped down as headteacher of Archbishop Sancroft High School in Harleston.
 Picture: Nick ButcherRichard Cranmer has stepped down as headteacher of Archbishop Sancroft High School in Harleston. Picture: Nick Butcher

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During his eight years there he played a major role in the recruitment and training of new teachers and became an assistant headteacher.

The example set by then Notre Dame headteacher John Pinnington, as well as his father’s role as principal of a teacher training college, inspired him to consider school leadership.

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In his new role overseeing MAT, which includes four primary schools in Diss, Dickleburgh and Harleston, as well as Archbishop’s Sancroft, he faces immediate challenges handling the return of pupils following coronavirus closures.

He recalled that taking over headship at ASHS was a “deliberate choice”. As a committed Anglican, he wanted to lead a church school.

He said: “When I was appointed as headteacher, the diocese made it very clear to me that, as their only high school, they wanted me to develop the ethos of the school into one that could be

recognised as distinctively Christian.

“At the same time, the local authority made it very clear to me that academic standards needed to improve.

“Believing that in the best church schools these two elements are inextricably linked, I set out on a journey. That work is not yet complete, but I am confident that the school now has a very solid foundation upon which to develop further.”


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