Leeds East Academy

Nicola Widnall

Assistant Principal (Teaching Quality & EAL)

Hailing originally from the Brecon Beacons in South Wales, Nicola Widnall graduated from Leeds University in 2005 with a BA Hons in Spanish Language and Literature. It was during her year studying in Granada in the south of Spain as part of her degree that she realised she wanted to pursue a career in education and as such obtained her PGCE in Spanish and French, choosing to stay at the University of Leeds and then starting her career at Cardinal Heenan’s Catholic High School in Meanwood. Keen to gain experience in different schools, Nicola moved to Silcoates School in Wakefield and then to Westholme School in Blackburn where she secured the role of Head of Spanish and raised the profile of the department, significantly improving uptake and working hard to change students’ views of Modern Foreign Languages.

In 2014 Nicola moved to Todmorden High School to become their Head of Languages where again numbers at GCSE and A Level were increased and results improved with each year – Nicola firmly believes this is a direct result of the embedding of high standards within the MFL department and improving the Teaching and Learning profile from Requires Improvement to Outstanding in the 3 years she was there. She is thrilled to join the White Rose Academies Trust and is really looking forward to working with the Teaching and Learning Team.

Outside of school, Nicola has a passion for travelling and seeing the world and last summer she walked the Camino de Santiago (one side of Spain to the other) which was a huge achievement. She likes to keep fit and is running the Leeds Half Marathon this year for charity.