New Principal Mr Brice answers students’ questions

Academy students were invited to put questions to Mr Brice, our new Principal.


Are you looking forward to being the Principal of our academy?

Yes  -  I have now been in to the academy three times and with each visit, I am looking forward to taking up post more.  In the short space of time I have already spent in the academy, I have been impressed with the positive working atmosphere and the way that students approach their learning.
I am particularly looking forward to getting to know the students and staff as individuals over the coming months as we work together to move the academy forwards.

What inspires you?

Great things happen when great people put great effort into achieving something.  I am inspired by great things – and these can range from a piece of music or a film to stunning architecture.  I am also inspired by people and their great ideas or achievements.  The potential for every student at the academy is enormous and that’s what I find inspirational about my job.  Who knows what some of you will go on to achieve?  Some of you will go on to inspire other people, and that in itself inspires me.

What made you want to work at The Co-operative Academy of Manchester?

There were a few factors that made me want to come and work at the academy.  The first was the people that I met while I was ‘on interview’.  I was impressed enormously with the students that I met on the day.  My tour guides were fantastic and the students that interviewed me were really impressive.  I was also impressed by the teaching and learning that I saw taking place throughout the day.  I was also impressed by the journey that the academy has been on since it opened and the improvements that it has made. I am keen to be part of this and to work with you all to improve the academy even further.  The other factor that attracted me to the academy were the core values that underpin academy life and are so important in life within the academy and beyond.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

My two young children keep me very busy when I’m not working, as does our slightly mad dog and the newest addition to our household – a kitten!  On the rare occasions that I do find myself with time on my hands, I am a keen musician and enjoy composing, sequencing and playing.  I am also a bit of a ‘gadget-head’ and enjoy tinkering with all things Apple, and pretty much anything with a plug on it.

What is your favourite subject?

When I was at school (a long time ago), my favourite subjects were Science and Technology.  As I grew older however, I became really interested in the theatre and stage lighting.  I ended up specialising in Drama and Music although I have also taught ICT along the way.  My favourite subjects still remain Drama and Music although I also have a keen interest in computer programming.  One of the pleasures of being a school leader is that you get to see all sorts of lessons across all subject areas – and I enjoy them all. 

Are you going to change the academy in any way? And how are you going to do this? / What prospects do you have for the academy?

It is inevitable that things at the academy will change as we move forward.  This would have been true even if Mrs Leaver were staying.  I firmly believe that if you don’t move forward, and continue to develop, improve and grow, you end up being left behind.  It would be wrong of me to guess what those changes would be before I take up post however because I don’t know you all well enough yet.  I will make sure that students, staff and parents are involved as I work with you and the governing body to move the academy forward.  As for my prospects and hopes for the academy … I want the academy’s results to continue to improve and for it to grow in popularity even further so that we are an academy with an outstanding reputation in all that we do.

Are you going to change the uniform?

I have no plans currently to change the very smart uniform that you have.  Students who take pride in their appearance and learn the value of self-respect are much more likely to go on to succeed beyond the academy.  Your uniform gives you a great foundation for understanding what it is like to be ‘dressed for business’ and this will stand you in really good stead when you begin to compete for jobs and enter the world of employment.  The way that you wear your uniform says a lot about the respect you have for yourselves and for the academy  - and I want you to be smart and to wear your uniforms with pride.

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