The Guardian - 'On the Frontline'

Principal, Mr Lowry has been profiled in The Guardian newspaper for his role on the frontline of education.

Talking about himself, the Academy and education in general Mr Lowry said;

"I grew up on an estate in north Manchester, the child of a single parent. I had an inspirational primary head who understood that local secondary schools were in quite a state. He saw a way through for some of the working class, high-achieving lads and coached us for grammar school.

I was still going home to my own reality and I knew I wanted to do something around social justice. How that would look I hadn’t figured out, but I understood that I’d played the system and was a winner, when many of my friends didn’t have that chance.

Challenging schools are where I’ve always wanted to work because that’s where the best leaders should be. I wanted to make the biggest difference to the biggest number.

There is 20% youth unemployment in Stoke and a lot of our job is about entrenching aspiration. We want our students to look smart so we give them a uniform. We fund an enrichment programme because we want our kids to have the opportunity to do the things middle-class children do.

I went into it with my eyes open but the pace of change is putting real stress on teachers, and as leaders we have to manage that. We run a successful summer school and I’ve just heard the funding is being pulled. The goalposts keep being moved in terms of accountability and teachers who might potentially step up to headship fear that they would only last a few years. The football manager scenario is creeping into the way heads are viewed, which is wrong. If you’re going to build something it’s going to take years, not months.

I don’t think anyone does this job for the money but you do have a certain cachet. People want to speak to you and seek your opinion."

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