Meet the Principal
Mr Dawes moved back to the North East in 2008 to help lead the opening of one of The King’s Academy’s sister schools, Bede Academy in Blyth, where he was vice principal responsible for academic achievement. In the period prior to joining The King’s Academy, Mr Dawes led the rapid transformation of Stainburn School in Cumbria, as well as helping students to secure the school’s best ever results.
However, Mr Dawes notes that his aim is for all pupils to not only leave with outstanding academic qualifications and great personal achievements, but to leave as young people of exceptional character through their moral and spiritual excellence.
As an academy with a Christian ethos, welcoming students and staff from all faiths and none, at the heart of our overall purpose is to nurture the whole person in a supportive and caring environment, valuing every individual so that they can realise their unique potential. Alongside this, we want our children to develop perseverance, humility and compassion as well as independent minds to explore, and engage with, the all-important bigger questions of life. Our aim is for our young people to make outstanding achievements and gain a coherent understanding of the world around them, but also to be equipped to serve as inspiring leaders, trusted employees, loyal friends and loving parents, people with integrity and moral courage who can make a powerful contribution to our ever changing society.”
Originally from Leeds, Mr Dawes went to the University of Cambridge where he completed a masters degree in engineering. He then attended the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst, and was commissioned into the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers, reaching the rank of Captain and serving in Germany and Bosnia.
Married with three daughters, Mr Dawes went on to work in industry, for Walkers Crisps at Peterlee, then the large US consulting company A T Kearney and, finally, in private equity with a part of Prudential. After studying education at the University of London and qualifying as a mathematics teacher, he worked in two large comprehensive schools in the capital, becoming an assistant headteacher at JFS School in Harrow before joining Bede Academy.
Mr Dawes said:
I am delighted to be joining The King’s Academy to take forward the vast work of the first 12 years. It will be a great privilege to work with the wonderful students, their parents and the community, and also to lead the staff who are of exceptional quality.”
Amongst his interests, Mr Dawes includes swimming and sailing. Trying not to combine these too much, he is a strong advocate for adventurous experiences for young people – explaining that the excitement of sailing presents the natural world alongside the many challenges of physical forces, science, technology, sport, teamwork and personal endeavour.
On this new phase for The King’s Academy, Mr Dawes noted:
We have the most fabulous resources at our disposal, meaning not just the superb building and its surrounding features, but the professional, creative and academic talents of our staff and a wonderful body of students who are supported by engaged parents. Together with our clear vision and expertise to lead the Academy onwards, and an unmoveable commitment to fulfil this vision, there is no doubt that students, staff and the Academy as a whole will achieve exceptional success.”