A CRADLEY Heath school’s marketing director is believed to be one of the first staff in his area to be appointed as a specialist leader of education.

Kris Griffin, aged 42, who has worked at Ormiston Forge Academy since 2013, recently achieved specialist leader status following a rigorous process.

Specialist leaders of education (SLEs) are “outstanding” middle and senior leaders who have the skills to support individuals or teams in similar positions in other schools.

It is believed that Kris, who is director of marketing at the Wrights Lane school, is one of the first SLEs who specialises in marketing and communications for schools and academies.

He said: “I’m delighted to have been designated a specialist leader of education, it’s great recognition for support staff who are vital to the smooth operation of educational establishments everywhere.

“I am looking forward to continuing my work at Forge, working towards Ofsted outstanding as well as supporting other schools and academies who need my specialist help.”

During his at Ormiston Forge Academy, Kris has been part of the team responsible for the improvements the school has made since over the past five years, resulting in a good Ofsted grade in 2016.

Kris is also contracted, through Forge, to a variety of different schools around the country as a consultant, recently working with schools in Birmingham allegedly involved in the “Trojan Horse” plot.

Andrew Burns, principal of Ormiston Forge Academy, who himself was designated a national leader of education (NLE) in March 2016, said: “Kris is our first SLE but he certainly won’t be our last. I'm incredibly proud of his achievement and the work he does in the education sector.

“Kris is not a qualified teacher, but he is an outstanding leader. He understands education and teaching and how to get people the best out of individuals and teams.

“This is a testament to the diverse and deep talent pool that we have here and I very much look forward to congratulating more Forge SLEs on their appointment in the near future.”

Kris will be helping other schools across the region which need support through the St John Bosco Teaching School Alliance.