Western Primary School announces new Headteacher

Western Primary School in Harrogate has appointed a new Headteacher. Mr Matt Shillito will succeed Mrs Cheryl Smith when she retires in the summer, after 16 years successfully leading the school.

Western was recently graded as “outstanding across all areas” by Ofsted in 2018 and was particularly praised for “raising the standards for all their pupils whilst balancing the welfare, and respect, for all.”

Mr Shillito is currently the Headteacher across the Federation of Goldsborough and Sicklinghall Primary schools. Prior to this he held the Deputy Head position at Shire Oak Primary School in Leeds. He spoke about the future as he looked towards taking over in September.
“I am truly excited to be appointed as the new Headteacher at Western and I look forward to working with the school’s dedicated and talented team to develop the next chapter of the school’s success story. Western’s reputation is one of excellent pastoral care and outstanding academic achievement and I recognise that building upon the school’s considerable existing strengths, whilst looking for opportunities to strengthen yet further, is vitally important to pupils, parents, staff and the wider Western community.

Having begun my teaching career at Western, I already have a strong sense of what makes Western a special place for young people to learn and develop and I feel privileged to be offered the opportunity to return to the school as Headteacher in September.”

“As Headteacher of the Federation of Goldsborough and Sicklinghall Schools for four and a half years and Goldsborough for a further five years prior to federation, I bring a wealth of leadership experience to the role and I am passionately committed to ensuring that each and every pupil is provided with the very best opportunities to thrive pastorally, academically and through the many and varied experiences that they are offered as a member of the Western family,” he concluded.

The Chair of Governors, Jayne Sorrell, added “Western is a fantastic school and has been led exceptionally by Mrs Smith and we are sorry to see her retire, but we are excited to have appointed Mr Shillito to take Western forward and continue her great work. We are absolutely certain that he brings with him the right qualities for the job and will continue to make the school a truly inclusive place of education whilst pushing the school forward to do even better. The school’s vision of creating “lifelong learners forever” threads through all aspects of school life and we know that this is also something Mr Shillito believes in passionately. He began his teaching career here at Western and we know he will fit perfectly into our talented group of teaching staff, having a true understanding of the ethos the school holds of creating Success Stories for All”.