22 February 2022

'It's all about the young people'

Neil Hendry has been appointed Head Teacher of Inverurie Academy.

He succeeds Mark Jones who has taken up a Quality Improvement Manager post with Aberdeen City Council.

Speaking about why he applied for the head teacher vacancy, Mr Hendry said: “I am really excited about the opportunity Inverurie gives us. The new campus is obviously attractive but also the location of the school. I really like the idea of a school bang in the middle of a town, and in a town that I believe very much looks after its community very well. There are real opportunities to work with a variety of different partners. You are then looking to create that positive ripple from the campus out to the wider community.”

Another aspect that attracted Mr Hendry to lead Inverurie Academy is the chance to work closely with St Andrew’s School, which is also based at the Community Campus. “That will give a real opportunity for both sets of staff and both sets of young people to work together.” 

His immediate priority will be to get to know the school community including the young people and staff, parents, and wider partners. He plans on being visible within the school, get to know people and get a real feel for the school. Longer-term Mr Hendry would like Inverurie Academy to continue to be a school where young people achieve and attain at the highest possible level, which is bespoke for each young person.

Mr Hendry knew from around the age of 12 that he wanted to be a teacher. His parents and teachers at school were supportive. He spent four years studying Physical Education at John Moores University in Liverpool. He left Aberdeen as a goalkeeper and a badminton player and left Liverpool as a rugby player.

He returned to Aberdeen as a PE teacher at Robert Gordon’s College, where he spent five years before moving to St Machar Academy as a Principal Teacher of Guidance. He spent 12 years at St Machar Academy as a Principal Teacher of Guidance, Assistant Head Teacher, and a Deputy Head Teacher. He then worked as a Quality Improvement Officer for Aberdeen City Council. After that Mr Hendry became Head Teacher of Northfield Academy for five years before becoming Head Teacher of the new Lochside Academy, bringing together the two secondary schools in Kincorth and Torry.

Speaking about what attracts him to secondary education, Mr Hendry said: “It’s all about young people. That’s why you come into teaching. You want to guide young people; you want to give them the best possible opportunities to chase their dreams. I have been very fortunate that for almost 30 years I have been able to do that. This will continue to be my focus at Inverurie Academy.”

Cllr Gillian Owen, Aberdeenshire Council’s Education and Children’s Services Committee chair, said: “Welcome to Inverurie Academy Neil Hendry! Many congratulations on your appointment as Head Teacher. Inverurie Academy is based in the state-of-the-art £55million Community Campus but is also at the heart of this historic, thriving market town – combining the modern with the traditional. Inverurie Academy is in good hands having performed very well in its last inspection. I am looking forward to seeing Neil Hendry build on this success.”

Committee vice chair Cllr Rosemary Bruce added: “Congratulations Neil Hendry on securing this sought-after post. I am pleased to see he is very passionate in giving young people opportunities they need to thrive in life. I hope he has the pleasure of seeing generations of young people in Inverurie undertake their education at this well thought of school.”