New Burnley ‘super school’ headteacher (34)

St John Thursby headteacher David Burton. G061211/4b

St John Thursby headteacher David Burton. G061211/4b

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HELPING young people to realise their dreams and be the “best they can be” is the ambition of a new Burnley super head.

Mr David Burton, who is just 34, will take the helm at Sir John Thursby Community College from January.

St John Thursby headteacher David Burton. G061211/4a

St John Thursby headteacher David Burton. G061211/4a

Mr Burton, who replaces outgoing headteacher Mrs Elaine Dawson, said that he felt very fortunate to take over the running of school, in Eastern Avenue, and plans to build on the school’s success.

Just last week he was invited to Parliament to share his views on exams for 15-to-19-year-olds with the Education Select Committee.

“My passion is encouraging young people to be the very best they can be in their community and helping them to achieve their full potential,” he said.

Mr Burton, who is currently deputy headteacher at a school in Liverpool, studied chemistry at Oxford University where he also completed his teacher training. His first job was at a school in East London where he stayed for five years before moving on to become director of a sixth form centre in Surrey. There he played a vital role in turning around the school’s fortunes.

“After that I really felt a need to work with students who didn’t have so many opportunities because of where they lived or because of their family background,” he said.

Mr Burton left the sixth form and was given a place on the Government-backed Future Leaders programme, the aim of which is to transform outstanding teachers into inspirational leaders of challenging schools.

He has spent the past two years at the school in Liverpool, which has been rated among the top 60 schools in the country for progress, and said he is delighted to be coming to Burnley.

“I think it’s really important that ‘community’ is in the name of our school. We are here for everyone in the community. Part of our role is to help families support their sons and daughters.

“Our fantastic facilities here can only help that.”

Keen sportsman Mr Burton, who has a wife Jenny and two-year-old son Henry, said that he is looking forward to starting his new role.

“I’m not going to be a headteacher stuck in my office. I want to be available to people, helping them to realise their own personal goals and dreams,” he said.