THE man at the top of two York secondary schools is stepping down.

The executive head of Millthorpe School and York High School is set to retire this summer after ten years of school leadership in the city of York.

Trevor Burton, 60, joined Millthorpe as head ten years ago and has seen the school go from strength to strength, with improvements in results since 2012 and significant capital investment in the school environment. Together with former Scarcroft Primary School head, Anna Cornhill and Adam Cooper, Interim Trust Principal, he was instrumental in the formation of the South Bank Multi Academy Trust (SBMAT) in 2016. This saw Millthorpe, Scarcroft and Knavesmire Primaries come together as founding schools of the Trust, which now comprises six schools. In 2017, when SBMAT became the sponsor of York High School, Mr Burton took up the role of executive head over the Trust’s two secondary schools, Millthorpe and York High.

As executive head, Mr Burton works closely with Gemma Greenhalgh, head of school at Millthorpe and Rod Sims, head of school at York High, as well as colleagues across the leadership teams and across the Trust. Mr Burton said that even though York is the lowest funded local authority and Millthorpe receives the minimum funding allowed, he is leaving both schools with surpluses and in his words “head teachers and business managers who know how to squeeze the best out of every pound.”

Mr Burton said: “It’s been a wonderful decade spent in York, not without its challenges, particularly over the last 18 months, but there have been many highlights over the years. I’ve worked with some fantastic colleagues and students and am really proud that since 2012 we’ve seen results rise at Millthorpe, and after four years of incredibly hard work from everyone, results have also risen at York High School.

“During my time at Millthorpe, it was particularly gratifying to secure over £5 million of capital investment to make the environment worthy of its staff and students. I was very proud that we achieved a really strong “Good” Ofsted rating back in 2014, which still holds today and that the school has been consistently oversubscribed in recent years.

“Working with the team at York High has been invigorating and I have been amazed by their determination to rise to the challenge of taking the school out of Special Measures. It has been a pleasure to see the senior team transform into one which is now performing brilliantly so our students get the improvements they deserve. We now hear through regular surveys with parents and students, that we are making a difference to their education and experience at school.”

A Cambridge graduate, Mr Burton began his teaching career in Leeds in 1985, becoming a Director of Studies at Dixons City Academy in Bradford in 1990 and later in 2001, deputy head at Harrogate Grammar School. He spent the next ten years there, before moving to Millthorpe in April 2011. A lover of data and statistics, Mr Burton has been passionate about evidence-based decision making, particularly in the context of a challenging financial climate for schools.

SBMAT’s Chair of Trustees, Ian Wiggins said: “On behalf of the Trust, I would like to thank Trevor for the commitment, determination and passion he has for ensuring young people get the education they deserve. He has made a huge contribution across our Trust, and in particular in the key leadership roles he has taken on. Through his many years of service Trevor has made a real difference to all the schools in our Trust and, most importantly, to children and young people across York. We wish him well for a long, happy, and well-deserved retirement.”

After a well-earned rest, Mr Burton plans to travel, and try out some long-distance cycling on some of his trips. He is also hoping to see the Northern Lights and travel south of the equator. He plans to stay in touch with fellow educators and leaders and would relish the opportunity to help heads who are new in post.

Gemma Greenhalgh and Rod Sims will become the head teachers of Millthorpe School and York High School respectively in September.