Headteachers discuss the benefits academy status has brought to their schools. You may also be interested in our How to become an academy page.

Michael Griffiths is principal of the Samworth Church Academy in Nottinghamshire. Northampton School for Boys is an outstanding secondary school with 1529 boys on roll and about 80 girls in the sixth form. It converted in September 2010. The school has an Education Improvement Partnership with Weavers School in Wellingborough and is halfway through its partnership programme, which is due to finish in September 2011. As a high-performing specialist school, Northampton School for Boys also works with Abbeyfield School in Northampton. It also works with a range of schools across the county – in all phases of education – through a variety of shorter-term links.


Helen Hyde is the headteacher at Watford Grammar School for Girls. The school is a VA Girls Grammar with approximately 1250 11-16 pupils and 350 post-16 pupils. It converted in September 2010 and was rated outstanding by Ofsted in 2007. Helen is the president of FASNA (Foundation and Aided Schools National Association).


Gayle Mawson is the headteacher at R A Butler Infant School, Saffron Walden in Essex, which according to Ofsted is an exceptional school that provides an outstanding quality of education for pupils of all ages and abilities.


Dame Yasmin Bevan is the headteacher of Denbigh High School in Luton, an outstanding secondary school that converted to academy status on 1 November 2010. Denbigh High School is in a soft federation with Challney High School for Boys and Community College, a foundation secondary. Dame Yasmin Bevan is executive principal across both schools; she became a National Leader of Education in 2009.


Peter Barnes is the headteacher of Oakgrove Secondary School in Milton Keynes. It has received an Academy Order and hopes to convert on 1 February 2011. It was judged outstanding by Ofsted in June 2010.


John Atkins is chief executive of the Kemnal Academies Trust, which is a multi-academy trust that currently oversees seven secondary schools – three of which are already academies – with four more planning to become academies. Of the three academies already open, one is rated outstanding by Ofsted (Kemnal Technology College) while the other two are rated satisfactory (Orchards Academy and King Harold).