Students First – Raising Standards and Transforming Lives


Students, staff and parents may be aware that Sir Michael Wilkins is retiring at the end of this academic year as Academy Principal & Chief Executive of Outwood Grange Academies Trust. Michael was appointed as Head Teacher to what was then Outwood Grange School in January 2001. At that time, the school was poorly performing – in truth it was a school that was in Special Measures. Michael started to rapidly transform the school, placing students first in everything that he did. This was the vision that Michael then used to not only transform Outwood Grange Academy but to go on to transform the lives of students across the North of England.
In 2006 Outwood Grange College of Technology was awarded Outstanding in every category at its Ofsted Inspection. Consequently, Michael became one of the first National Leaders of Education (NLE) and began his support of other schools in the region using the model that he had developed with great success at Outwood.
Following his phenomenal success as an NLE supporting other schools, in 2009 Michael was approached to become one of the country’s first school-based academy sponsors. So began Outwood Grange Academies Trust which has grown to be one of the highest performing multi academy trusts in the country with 21 schools all now enjoying the same success that has been enjoyed at Outwood Grange.
Throughout this time Michael has worked tirelessly to improve the life chances of children in his care – this was first acknowledged in 2009 when he received an award for System Leadership from the then Secretary of State for Education Michael Gove. He was knighted for his services to education in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours list 2014.
Sir Michael leaves Outwood Grange Academies Trust as the highest performing trust in the country with Outwood Grange Academy being the highest performing non-selective state school in Yorkshire & The Humber.
Outwood Grange Academies Trust began its relationship with Carlton Community College in June 2014, and the school secured huge improvements in outcomes in the first year. Carlton Community College became Outwood Academy Carlton in February 2016 and the rapid transformation of all aspects of school life will lead to further significant improvements in the future. Sir Michael’s vision runs through everything that we do at Carlton; it is this that transformed an inadequate school to one that is ‘good’ in every area and it will be this vision that will see Outwood Academy Carlton become a truly outstanding academy in the near future.
I am sure that you and the generations passed will join us in wishing Sir Michael the very best in his new endeavours.