James Phillips

James joined the Trust in 2014 and is currently Head of Academy at Craven Primary Academy, Hull.

James began his teaching career in 2008, where he was lucky enough to be given the opportunity to work in a small catholic school in Goole of only 100 children. He really enjoyed the closeness of the school both with adults and children. Straight away he was given responsibility for the Year 5/6 class. He spent four years at the school, taking on the responsibility of RE lead, PE and Maths lead.

James joined Craven Primary Academy in for an opportunity to be part of a senior leadership team. A month after joining Craven, they went into Special Measures (a pure coincidence!). While this was a difficult time for the school, it was the beginning of a journey which he is grateful he was part of. They became an academy, and standards across the board began to improve rapidly. He became Vice Principal at Craven in 2014, holding responsibilities for assessment, behaviour, maths, and PE, along with carrying out SLE work.

The academy was judged as Outstanding in September 2016 and in the spring of 2016, James was given the role of Acting Head of Academy, and appointed Head of Academy in 2017. In 2018, James spent time as Head of Academy at both Weelsby Academy, and Mersey Primary Academy; both of these were inspected by Ofsted during that period.

James has returned to Craven as Head of Academy and is really enjoying working with, and for, a talented and dedicated team.

As he is still relatively new into his leadership journey, James feel that his stronger skills are those relating to classroom practice and pedagogy, particularly in KS2. He has a good understanding of assessment, particularly in relation to data analysis.

Every day at Craven is a special one. The day starts with around 230 children coming into school with smiles on their faces, and excited about what there day will hold. However, that is where the ‘average day’ ends. After that, thanks to an incredibly dedicated and talented staff, the academy comes alive and every day is different: often, in the morning, groups or classes of children are regularly coming and going on trips and visits to enhance the curriculum and their own personal development, such as seaside clean ups, trips to the London, the Lord Mayors chambers etc. After that, James like to visit classes and see teachers bringing learning to life through immersive learning, and hear the buzz of children who are becoming more and more confident in developing high quality oracy skills. At lunchtime, he like to sit in the hall with the children and hear about their mornings, or what exciting things they have planned for the afternoon.  After school, James will usually visit the wide variety of after school clubs that are provided at Craven.

Outside of work, James is incredibly competitive and loves watching and taking part in all different types of sport. However, his true passion is cricket and has been since he was nine years old. He has played for Hull Cricket Club for the past ten years as a wicket-keeper.

When asked 'Why Delta?' James said that in Delta, there is a clear and genuine passion for improving the lives for children in the north of England, particularly those who are disadvantaged. Knowing that you are working for a trust that has this at the heart of all the decisions that it makes, he believes, gives employees a sense of purpose.

On a personal level, It sounds strange to say, but there really is a family feel about Delta as an employer. You are surrounded by colleagues, at all levels, who care deeply about your successes as well as their own, and will help and support you to achieve your goals. Delta are constantly looking to evolve teaching and learning so that it is of the highest standard possible, but allow academies and leaders to take ownership and meet the needs of their own contexts.