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TAG welcomes new Principal David Vickers
We are delighted to welcome new Principal David Vickers, who is looking forward to leading our next generation of students to become “the very best they can be”.
Mr Vickers has joined TAG, an Ofsted outstanding provider of technical and professional education for 14-16 year olds, following the departure of previous head Paul Thundercliffe, who led the academy since it opened in 2014.
Formerly Associate Principal for Health, Wellbeing and Society at the Grimsby Institute, which joins TAG as part of the TEC Partnership, Mr Vickers has 30 years’ experience in education, including 25 years in the secondary school sector.
And with previous roles such as teacher, headteacher and school improvement specialist, he believes his new position at TAG is the “ideal opportunity” to combine his knowledge to best serve his students.
“I will be using my experience to improve the life chances for those young people who are choosing to make a change in their school career at the end of Year 9, supporting what could potentially be a significant upheaval.
“Life for a 14-year-old is difficult as it is with the pressures of modern society, as well as the pressure to decide what they want to be for the rest of their life and how their school or education is going to influence that.
“I wanted very much to be a part of something that was very different. TAG’s hybrid model means I can use my knowledge to clearly see a student’s journey through to potentially gaining a professional qualification at our university centre.
“I want to be part of a team that facilitates that path from the start through to employment, further or higher education and to being a successful member of the region, the community and society.”
Mr Vickers is also keen to emphasise the vocational benefits TAG can offer its students, with a number of enrichment opportunities that add value to their academy experience.
“What we are offering here is the opportunity to engage in a potential career pathway, enriched by a whole range of opportunities that arise from being part of a much larger and broader organisation.
“We can tap into both the facilities and staff expertise of the Grimsby Institute, providing recent and relevant industry experience which you can’t get in a school environment.
“For a 14-year-old who may think they want to be an engineer or work in the care sector, or has significant IT skills or is highly-talented in performing arts, this is a venue for them to explore their potential.
“If ultimately they decide they’re going to progress to something else they’ve experienced here then we are able to support them through the next stage of their education, potentially to a position where they are doing something they are passionate about, they are committed to and brings them a real sense of fulfilment.”
A keen sports enthusiast and married father-of-two, Mr Vickers is looking forward to making TAG “the envy of every school in the region”.
“People will come to see how we do what we do and how we get such amazing outcomes for the young people who walk through our front doors. I want a provision where teachers are desperate to come and work here because of the opportunities that they get.
“The premise for being here is very much about being the very best person that you can be. Our students need to feel secure, welcomed and that our staff have a genuine interest in their outcomes.
“One of the things that sets aside from the school sector is that our focus is on achievements, destinations and passing qualifications. We won’t be a slave to the league tables that pigeonhole young people into a set of GCSEs that I don’t think are currently in the best interest of every individual.
“That’s why our programmes suit students who are more expansive and have different career ambitions, compared to some courses which restrict a young person’s experience.”
And as he prepares to welcome back his full cohort over next week, the new Principal added: “I want students to come back the very next day with a sense of excitement and expectation and the reassurance they’ve made the right choice.
“I want them to have the confidence that they will spend the next two years at TAG having an enjoyable and a rewarding education that’s going to take them to places they wouldn’t have anticipated, give them experiences they couldn’t have imagined and inspire them to go on to be the very best that they can be.”