New Head of Ermine Street Church Academy announced...


The new headteacher at Ermine Street Church Academy – the first of Alconbury Weald’s primary schools – has taken up post to prepare for the school’s September launch.

Adrian Shepherd comes with a wealth of experience from six years as Head of St Anne's CofE Primary School in Godmanchester and his previous positions as Deputy Head at Houghton Primary School and Hemingford Grey Primary School. In his earlier teaching career, Adrian worked as a class teacher in Hertfordshire, before moving to Cambridgeshire where he took up a post as KS2 Leader. He has also served as ICT/Literacy/Numeracy Consultant at Cambridgeshire County Council.

On his new appointment, Adrian said: 

“As a new school, the Ermine Street Church Academy provides exciting opportunities and challenges.  The chance to develop a school from inception doesn’t come along often and I can’t wait to get started. The primary school will sit at the heart of the new community and we will take a proactive approach to working with that community. Ermine Street will be an open and accessible school and will provide a community resource for new residents and families moving into the area. Learning at the new school will be based on  an investigative, collaborative approach to the curriculum – so the children are fully engaged and excited about learning. I am delighted to have this opportunity.”

Andrew Read, Director of Education and CEO of the Multi Academy Trust (MAT) of which the school is a part, said “The new £13M school building is inspirational: the internal structure as well as the outdoor space are deigned to provide fantastic opportunities for learning.  The appointment of Adrian is an instrumental next-step in achieving our vision for further improved outcomes for children in the Huntingdon area. I am thus delighted that an existing and well respected local system leader has joined our team. He will be well placed to work alongside the growing number of other schools coming into the MAT, as part of the Diocese ongoing investment in the locality. The development of this new school has come about through a much valued partnership with Urban and Civic, and Cambridgeshire LA.”

The school sits at the heart of the first phase of housing at Alconbury Weald, among millions of pounds of investment in early infrastructure and landscape, which provide a gateway setting to the future development. Designed by architects Allford Hall Monaghan Morris – who recently won the Stirling Prize for Architecture for their previous school – Ermine Street Church Academy will be a flagship community asset. Nestling at the heart of the early community, it has been developed to place the school on the historic axis of the site’s former taxiways: giving it clear vistas along linear parks, developed to provide safe walking and scooting to school routes.

Nigel Hugill, Chairman of Urban&Civic said: "‎Careful planning stands at the very core of Alconbury Weald and our intention is that the safe walking and scoot to school routes, alongside a wealth of community and sports facilities, will help make this a treasured resource for new residents and the local area.” 

The school’s innovative Y-shaped plan comprises three separate wings creating distinct internal zones for different key stages.  A double-height vaulted roof assembly hall will form the central core area of the building and will be available for local community use out-of-school hours. The first phase will deliver 17 classrooms, with an additional six classrooms and a state-of-the-art learning resource centre provided in the second phase.

For more information about the school please see the website at  and Twitter feed @Ermine_Str_CA .To see the latest on the Alconbury Weald homes, please go to

Adrian Shepherd was on BBC Radio Cambridgeshire discussing the demand for places at local primary schools.  

Listen at 1:14 on BBC iPlayer