Principal for New Walsall Studio School

Posted on: March 13, 2013

The appointment of Dan Parkes as Principal for the new Walsall Studio School & Sixth Form has been announced this week. The School, which opens in September, is the first of its kind in the West Midlands and will be offering 14 – 19 year olds the unique opportunity for combining study for traditional examinations with real experience of the world of work.

Dan has a proven track record of delivering outstanding outcomes for learners and introducing new and innovative curriculum programmes. Leading a range of different teams, he has developed live projects for students and partnerships with local and regional employers. It was for the innovative work in this area that his team won the national TES award (sponsored by the Institute for Learning) for Outstanding Innovation in Teaching and Learning in 2011.

“I am passionate about real practical teaching where young people achieve the very best they can through hands-on project work in partnership with local employers,” commented Dan, “we will be able to give our students a real competitive advantage for future employment through individually tailored learning pathways – they will already be half way through the door before they start the journey of full time employment.”

Dan Parkes, Principal, The Walsall Studio School.

Dan Parkes, Principal, Walsall Studio School.

Kevin Davis, Chairman of the Walsall Studio School Trust commented, “Dan brings with him a wealth of experience and a successful track record in breaking new ground in learning. The potential that the Studio School can now realise with him at the helm is exciting. Students will be getting a preparation and experience that will be truly transformational for their future working lives.”

Dan takes up his post following 14 years’ experience in 14-19 education in Sandwell, Dudley and Birmingham, working the last 8 years at Birmingham Metropolitan College (formally Matthew Boulton and Sutton Coldfield Colleges). He is a creative manager with a background of embedding technology-enabled learning in a range of subject areas.

As a keen musician he performs regularly in a number of jazz ensembles as well as composing and arranging for groups. Dan is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, a trustee of a local Christian charity and an active member of a number of voluntary sector groups and networks.