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Senior Leadership Team




Mr James Christian



It gives me great pleasure to introduce myself as the new Principal of Colne Valley High School. It is a privilege to have been appointed and entrusted with the job of leading such a fantastic school with a unique history of being the first purpose-built comprehensive school in the North in 1956.

Many of you will already know me: I have worked at the school for over three years and have been employed by The Mirfield Free Grammar and Sixth Form Multi-Academy Trust for over 14 years. I have thoroughly enjoyed working at Colne Valley High School and I hold huge belief in all of our students. I am determined that our school continues to improve rapidly and maintains its position at the heart of our community.

The success of the school is reliant on strong relationships with parents and carers. My passion is that all students and members of staff have the greatest opportunity to 'Be the Best That They Can Be'. This relies on all parties feeling as confident and happy as possible so that attendance and engagement are high. My intention is to develop a culture whereby Colne Valley High school is the preferred school of choice for students, staff and parents/carers. I believe this is created by appreciating and acknowledging all individuals and making people feel valued.




Mrs Liz Singleton

Deputy Headteacher

Vice Principal: MAT Standards and Achievement


As Deputy Headteacher I have specific responsibility for standards and achievement in the school and across our Multi Academy Trust. I have taught for over 30 years in a range of secondary schools, and Post 16 Vocational Education, as a teacher, senior leader and interim Principal.  Over the years I have worked across West Yorkshire, supporting primary and secondary schools in developing academic and vocational curriculum models to suit the needs of students; quality assurance systems; and the raising of standards for all pupils: 14-19 year olds in particular. On a number of occasions I have had the opportunity to work nationally to develop learning in science, and the curriculum for pupils with special educational needs.  I have delivered local and national staff training and the produced published resources and literature.  This work extended internationally when I was asked to work with Slovenia to develop their curriculum - an amazing experience.

I bring a range of experiences for the benefit of our students and staff. This includes 10 years working as an OFSTED inspector - and can offer skills that will help us to plan well, achieve our very best, and demonstrate to our local community just how good our school is. My priorities will include ensuring we provide every pupil with the right mix, range and breadth of skills, knowledge and experiences to enable each and every one to achieve well, grow in confidence and personal pride, and to be ready for adulthood, working life and contributing positively to their family and community.


 Mrs D Watkins



Mrs Donna Watkins

Vice Principal: Teaching and Learning



As Vice Principal with responsibility for developing Teaching and Learning at Colne Valley High School, my role is to ensure that all students receive a balanced and high-quality learning experience in the classroom. Drawing on sixteen years of experience as teacher, faculty leader and a Specialist Leader in Education, I have worked to improve schools in a variety of settings in London, Birmingham and Yorkshire. I am dedicated to ensuring the very best outcomes for all students at Colne Valley High School.

I am also responsible for whole-school Continual Professional Development, and am passionate about developing the skills of teachers and the ethos of the school more widely.

I look forward to driving staff and students towards further, sustained, success.





Mr Sam Moncaster

Vice Principal: Curriculum


I am Vice Principal with responsibility for the curriculum at Colne Valley High School. I began my career within the Harris Federation, a successful chain of academies in London, where my drive for ensuring all students can achieve their potential was embedded. I moved up to Manchester to be closer to family in 2014 where I worked at a school in Rochdale for three years before being appointed at Colne Valley High School. I now will be bringing that drive for high standards and ensuring all students can reach their potential to Colne Valley High School.






Mr Aaron Kay

Vice Principal: Personal Development, Student Welfare and Attendance



As Vice Principal, my main focus is to ensure that behaviour within school allows everyone to achieve.  As my job title suggests, these two areas go hand in hand and therefore for achievement to be exceptional, behaviour also has to meet that high standard.

I have spent a considerable amount of my teaching career with a pastoral focus, specialising in behaviour and I have a track record of improving standards in relation to this.  I will be using this experience to ensure that all students at Colne Valley High School get the best possible experience during their time here.  This means ensuring that there is a climate which allows them to learn and feel safe.

My approach will always be consistent, firm and most importantly fair, as I believe that this, along with positive relationships based on respect and integrity, is the cornerstone of any behaviour system.