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Neil McShane - Interim Executive Principal: Norfolk Academies & Principal: Attleborough Academy Norfolk

Neil has been in Norfolk education for over twenty five years and is one of the group of Norfolk Headteachers who have previously worked at Notre Dame High School in Norwich.

Neil chairs the collaborative ALL Routes Trust in the South of the county, he also chaired NASDAH (Norfolk Association for Deputy and Assistant Headteachers) for many years and so is firmly rooted in believing in collaboration to ensure the best provision for all Norfolk children.

Having previously been educated at Exeter School in Devon, Neil took his degree at Loughborough University with his specialist subjects being in Design Technology and PE. Having played many sports at a high level, being a leader of a team is of second nature to Neil but he is the first to admit that there is always room for improvement.

My Deputy describes me as being ‘hard to work for’ in the sense that I always feel there is always more to achieve, always a way to do things better.

Neil is known for being innovative and bold. Under his leadership, Attleborough High achieved many awards including being the first school in the Eastern half of the country to achieve the NAACE Award for provision for Gifted and Talented students and a National Award for the school’s Virtual Learning Neil McShane Principal, Attleborough Academy Norfolk Environment. 

It’s not about the award though, it’s about whether the process has an outcome that enhances the provision we make for students. Enhancing the provision for student outcomes is the main thing and its vital that we ‘keep the main thing, the main thing’ and not take our ‘eye off the ball‘.

Neil has presented at National conferences for the past six years on change management and the use of innovative technologies in schools.

Innovations have to be sustainable to make them truly effective, anyone can introduce the latest headline grabbing short term scheme but truly changing a culture in schools for the better takes far longer, is far harder and far more admirable as it enhances the provision for the students you have now and all the students to come in the future.

The decision to join the TEN Group was reinforced by the realisation that their vision ‘To be the best we can be’ was identical to our own. This realisation was strengthened by the fact that the TEN Group is locally based and has a genuine ambition to improve education for the children of Norfolk and not for the egos of the leaders involved. Attleborough, as a town, is proposed to grow substantially over the next ten years and so the expertise, influence and ambition of the TEN Group will provide outstanding support to our community to ensure that our all-inclusive agenda is greatly enhanced as we move into the next phase of our development.

Follow Neil on Twitter @PrincipalAAN