Chairman of new board at Great Yarmouth High School determined to improve school

Great Yarmouth High School.Picture: James Bass

Great Yarmouth High School.Picture: James Bass - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2013

The chairman of the new board at Great Yarmouth High School said they were fired up to give the community 'a school it deserves.'

It has been an eventful year for the school, which has seen a headteacher leave suddenly and a set of disappointing GCSE results. The governing body was then removed by Norfolk Council Council, and an interim executive board (IEB) was put into place last month.

And the board has been quick to make changes, parting company with interim headteacher Jim McAtear, and replacing him with John Robson.

John Catton is the chairman of the IEB, which consists of three people with a vast amount of experience working within schools, and all local people.

Mr Catton said: 'We are focused to give the school a firm future, and help pupils achieve what they should.


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'At the moment, we know that is not the case and we are far from satisfied. We want to improve standards at the school - it is the biggest in Yarmouth, and we owe it to the community to give them a school they deserve.'

The IEB is made up of:

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John Catton. Has had an extensive 20-year experience as headteacher of various schools in Leicestershire, Peterbrough and Norfolk, including an interim spell at Yarmouth High School. He has also been an Ofsted inspector, and chaired an IEB at Sewell Park College.

Heather Tew. Experienced school governor, who chairs two governing bodies across the county. She has also previously served on an IEB at another Norfolk school.

Sue Smith. Lead officer for the school within the Norfolk County Council. Has prior experience of school leadership, is a practicing Ofsted inspector, and has also served on an IEB at another Norfolk school.

Mr Catton, said: 'I hope it doesn't make me sound too modest to say the three of us know what we are doing.

'We are all hugely experienced and familiar with schools, and are fired up to give this community a good one.'

In the latest published GCSE league tables, the school appeared in the bottom 10pc nationally based on figures of students who achieved five or more A* to C grades.

The school's website revealed in a statement posted January 25, that the local authority had requested the approval of the Minister for Education to replace the governing body with the interim executive board, which was accepted.

Mr Catton, said: 'Our responsibilities, like the governing body, will include the oversight of the school's finances, curriculum and staff. But we are also responsible for securing the future of the school. The school's finances have improved and are no longer an issue, but we want to do what we can to help lift results which we expect to start this year, improve attendances and the quality of learning.

'We thought that it was insufficient for this school to have a headteacher come in just once a week. So that's why we parted company with Jim McAtear and brought in John Robson, who will be here three days a week.

'Then we will look to have a permanent head teacher start in September.'

The school is also currently in the process of becoming an academy under the Diocese of Norwich Education and Academies Trust.

Parents are invited to meet the new consultant headteacher and members of the interim executive board on Wednesday next week, February 24, at 6pm in the main hall.

On the school's website it states the meeting is intended to 'be a short and informal gathering with tea and coffee, to meet the new people at the helm, to ask questions and have your say about the state of Great Yarmouth High School.'

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