Respected headteacher and leader of Pennine group of schools retires

A respected headteacher and leader of the Pennine Multi-Academy Trust is to retire after an education career spanning three decades.

Dr Paul Parkin was chief executive of the Trust, which he helped to form with three primary schools - Blacko, Laneshaw Bridge and Lord Street, and one secondary school, Park High in Colne, of which he was also the headteacher.

The respected teacher actually started his career as a nuclear engineer but after spending many weekends involved in youth work supporting disadvantaged young people, he was inspired to make a career change, a decision which proved to be transformational in improving the opportunities for many thousands of pupils over the course of his career.

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Paul joined Park High School as a deputy head in 2001. He went on to become a hugely successful and popular headteacher in 2006 and most recently took up the post of chief executive of The Pennine Trust.

Dr Paul Parkin

He was integral to the formation and development of The Pennine Trust which under his leadership, has been committed to a relentless drive to deliver the very best education for all of its pupils.

Pendle MP Andrew Stephenson praised Paul's contribution to the education landscape in Pendle.

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“I would like to congratulate Dr Paul Parkin on his retirement. I know in his 20 years of service, his work has been invaluable to the area, always striving to ensure high quality education and opportunities, and he will be sorely missed by ex-pupils and colleagues alike. I hope he can now enjoy a long, well, and happy retirement.”

One of the most poignant and enduring straplines that will remain synonymous with Paul is ‘Ensuring no one is left behind’; initially this was adopted by Park High School and subsequently underpinned the ethos and values of The Pennine Trust.

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Chairman of the Trust, Marie Burnham said: “Paul has created a nurturing ethos in the Trust’s schools that has resulted in an environment where pupils can thrive.

"He never believed that pupils should be selected for schools based on their ability, religion, or wealth mainly as it led to much wasted talent and contributed to the unending cycle of growing inequalities in our society.

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"I have entrusted Paul with my children’s education and it is something I have never regretted. Finally, not only as a colleague but as a friend, I look forward to seeing Paul enjoying his retirement with some of the hobbies that have taken a back-seat whilst he has been educating the children in our area.

"Everyone within the Trust is incredibly grateful for the strength of legacy Paul leaves behind. We will miss him greatly but we all wish him the very best for a long, happy and fulfilled retirement."