Principal of new Leeds school goes back to roots

The founding principal of a new £5m primary school that is set to be built in South Leeds is hoping to use her own experiences in education to prove that pupils from any background can achieve their goals.

NEW CHALLENGE: Founding principal Sarah Horsbrough.
NEW CHALLENGE: Founding principal Sarah Horsbrough.

Sarah Horsbrough, whose most recent appointment was as an executive head at two Bradford schools, is set to return to the area where she went to school to launch Elements Primary in September 2018.

The 420-place school will be located in Middleton on a currently undeveloped plot at Acre Mount, subject to planning approval and public consultation,

Miss Horsbrough, from Hunslet, stayed on an extra year at school to retake some of her O levels and knowing that she always wanted to go into teaching, she eventually became a teaching assistant at her old primary school, Hunslet St Mary’s, while completing her A-levels at night school. She then became a teacher at the school and a senior leader, before taking up a post as a deputy head in Bradford and working her way up to become a headteacher and then an executive head.

She said: “It was great to go back to my old school as a teacher, so to be going back to South Leeds is really exciting.”

And with a new school comes a new ethos and the principal is determined to show pupils that they can still make the grade, no matter where they come from.

She said: “It really pains me that when I speak to young people and children, they think because of where they are starting out it doesn’t mean them. I’m hoping that the message will be very clear that I’m living proof it doesn’t matter.”