Sir Peter Birkett
As a British educator and entrepreneur with over 35 years of experience, my ambition is to find and deliver innovative solutions that ensure every student regardless of their age, ability or background receives the very best education, training and progression opportunities. The school's mission is to provide innovative, personalised and exciting learning opportunities that ensure our students are happy and successful in life.
When I heard that a 11-16 years special needs school in lovely Devon and Cornwall was to close, due to underperformance, I was determined to re-open this as a fresh start school with a new vision and approach.
In 2016 together with our Chair of Governors Dr Julie Smith and our Head-teacher Vicky Skelton we reopened and rebranded the school Highgate Hill House School. We welcomed our first full -time pupil in July 2017, and I'm very proud to say that the school has grown and developed ever since.
We were also delighted when Ofsted recognised our achievements and graded us a "good" across all areas. Following Ofsted, we have recently received two very good Local Authority quality inspection reports and have selected as a finalist for two national education awards in 2018 and 2019. I am also pleased that in 2019 we achieved investors in People (IIP) accreditation - this is testimony to Governance, Leadership and the passion, loyalty and commitment of all the school staff.
Before setting up Highgate Hill House School, I was employed as CEO for GEMS Education and prior to this employed as a College Principal before founding the UK's first federation of schools and colleges. In September 2007 the federation broke new ground becoming the 1st Further Education College in the country to sponsor two failing secondary schools and turn them into academies and form a federation. When I left the organisation in 2013 the academies were named number 1 and number 3 in the town's league table with GCSE results of 74% and 69% - these are the best GCSE results ever achieved in the history of these schools.
Also, in 2013 I am proud to state that the College was named as the highest performing post 16 Further Education College in the UK for 16-18-year olds with a success rate of 94% and 2nd in the country for students aged 19+ with a success rate of 90%.
I have been both a Government adviser and Director on several National Boards and have spoken and continue to present at a range of national and international events. I am currently a member of the Worshipful Company of Educators, a national Special Education Needs group and member of Imperial Society of Knights Bachelor.
I am proud to be the School Founder and am delighted with the progress of the school to date - I will continue to do all that I can do to ensure all our special children enjoy school and given every opportunity to reach their potential.
Sir Peter Birkett
School Founder & Head of Strategy and Partnerships
Cert Ed, MA