New headteacher pleased to be 'educating Dewsbury'

Matthew Burton is the new head at Thornhill Academy.
Matthew Burton is the new head at Thornhill Academy.

The new headteacher at Thornhill Academy is a recognisable face.

Matthew Burton, who's passionate and attentive teaching style earned him praise when showcased on popular Channel Four TV show Educating Yorkshire, has been promoted to the top job at the Valley Drive school, having taken over from Bev Mathews in the Summer.

Speaking towards the end of his first week as head, Mr Burton said that whilst there will be subtle changes to the way the school does things, his attitude is to simply continue the good work of his predecessors.

"It's natural to tweak and change a few things, but we've been on a really rapid and positive journey over the past few years," he said, "this isn't a case of an entirely new leadership team coming in and changing everything.

"Frankly the systems, processes and relationships we've got here are absolutely fantastic. It's all stuff that has quite rightly been lauded by authorities and other schools, which is something we've been very proud of.

"Any new headteacher coming in is going to make subtle adjustments here and there, but it won't be anything particularly groundbreaking."

Speaking passionately about the opportunity to continue to impact the lives of his students, Mr Burton expressed a desire to try new techniques.

"We want to be right at the cutting edge of educational research. When a piece of research comes out or something from another school catches our eye that we think will be beneficial, we'll do everything we can to adopt that.

"We've brought in 'knowledge packs', for example, which isn't rocket science, but it's basically all the half-terms content for a particular subject in a booklet.

"It compliments everything that goes on in classes and is a really positive thing for the students.

"That's come from research, from staff that have gone out and done active research and so on. It's not the sort of thing you do willy-nilly, we take it back to what the impact is on our students. If we don't think it's going to have a positive impact, we aren't going to bother doing it.

"I want to do a few things and I want to do them exceptionally well."