Reporter: KAREN DOHERTY
Date published: 05 September 2011
New principal Nigel McQuoid
Controversial head to lead Waterhead Academy
A CREATIONIST head teacher whose school banned Harry Potter has been appointed principal of Waterhead Academy.
Government inspectors have described Nigel McQuoid’s leadership as inspirational and he has been praised by Tony Blair.
Waterhead bosses say he has a huge amount of experience in raising standards and in creating and developing new academies.
Mr McQuoid has led some of the country’s most controversial schools. He was criticised by scientists for permitting the teaching of creationism — which believes in the creation of the world as described in the bible — alongside evolution at Emmanuel College, Gateshead.
He then hit the headlines when King’s College banned Harry Potter books from its library shelves because of fears of satanic undertones.
Both are sponsored by the multi-millionare car dealer Sir Reg Vardy who promoted Mr McQuoid to become director of his chain of schools, which received eight outstanding Ofsted inspection ratings, in 2005.
He left to become an adviser and mentor to academy principals, working closely with six academies across the North of England including Oldham Academy North and Dixons Allerton Academy in Bradford.
Mr McQuoid comes to Oldham following the shock resignation of Waterhead Academy principal David Yates after fewer than 18 months in the job.
Mr Yates was appointed early last year to replace Jackie Nellis, who stepped down as principal designate 10 months after her appointment.
Shauna Dixon, chairman of Waterhead Academy Trust, said: “We are delighted that Mr McQuoid has decided to join us with his vast experience and success.
“He brings a huge amount of expertise and knowledge to the role, not just in terms of raising standards but also in creating and developing academies.”
The academy, run by Oldham College, replaced Breeze Hill and Counthill schools. It opened in the existing buildings last September and will move into a new school in Waterhead next year.
College principal Alun Francis said: “This is a very exciting time for the academy and we have made positive steps with students on both campuses, achieving record exam results and students mixing well.”
Mr McQuoid took up his post on Thursday and added: “I am delighted to see the progress and outstanding achievements already made by the students and staff at Waterhead Academy.
“I hope that I can bring my experience of principalship and leadership in a variety of other successful academies to build further on these secure foundations.”