Thomas Whitham Sixth Form’s new head ‘buzzing’ over role

New Thomas Whitham headteacher Brendan Conboy with some of his pupils
New Thomas Whitham headteacher Brendan Conboy with some of his pupils

The new headteacher of Thomas Whitham Sixth Form says he is ‘buzzing’ with his new role, and cannot wait to get started at a sixth form with such amazing facilities.

Mr Brendan Conboy (57) has been appointed the new associate headteacher of the sixth form after the previous headteacher, Simon Davies, went back to Burnley College after the partnership between the two education facilities became no longer viable.

We’ve got stunning facilities

Brendan Conboy

However, an enthusiastic Mr Conboy is now raring to go and is looking forward to the challenge.

He said: “It’s a wonderful place, we’ve got stunning facilities here, they really are amazing – as a headteacher I’ve always wanted facilities like this.

“The staff are lovely and the students have been very welcoming – who wouldn’t be excited about being the headteacher at a place like this?”

Mr Conboy, who is originally from Accrington and has three daughters, brings with him 35 years of teaching experience, with 13 years experience as a headteacher.

He started his career in Blackpool, then moved on to two schools in Preston before becoming the deputy head at Fisher More in Colne in 1999 and became the headteacher three years later.

He then moved to a school in Lancaster, which also had a sixth form, in 2007 before retiring in the summer, but agreed to continue to work with the county’s advisory panel.

“When I retired the agreement was that I would help out with special projects when needed, and so with the plans for a joint academy with Burnley College becoming no longer viable they were short of an interim headteacher here,” continued Mr Conboy.

“The term associate headteacher basically means that I’ll be working with the governors, and the role will be around three to four days a week. But in a sixth form that’s fine, because you’re not running around after naughty children.

“So my role is strategic, my primary concern is the strategic direction and development of the college, and getting it ready for the next chapter so that they can appoint a full-time headteacher.”

Mr Conboy says that another important aspect of his new role is to get to know the community, and find out how the sixth form can serve the people of Burnley and surrounding area.

“We’re here for the community,” he added. “We take a lot of public money every year and we’re here to serve, we’re here for them.

“You get pupils ready and send them out into the world so they can be the future of this area. The community side of running a school is massive to me, it’s hugely important.

“We have a responsibility to work with all the high schools in the area, we need to work with them to see if they feel we are offering the correct courses, and also making sure students are aware of what happens after school and they’re educated on the progression.”

The sixth form held a meet the teacher event for parents and carers on Wednesday night.

Mr Conboy says he will be also be willing to meet any parents on a one to one basis for anyone unable to attend on Wednesday.