Consultant head parachuted into “inadequate” school after principal goes on sick leave

Hethersett High School and Science CollegePhoto: Adrian JuddCopy: For: EDP pics © 2005(01603) 772

Hethersett High School and Science CollegePhoto: Adrian JuddCopy: For: EDP pics © 2005(01603) 772434 - Credit: Archant © 2004

The headteacher of a high school where leadership was severely criticised by Ofsted inspectors last month has gone on long-term sick leave during discussions about converting to an academy.

Hethersett High headteacher Kerry Jordan.

Hethersett High headteacher Kerry Jordan. - Credit: Archant

Hethersett High School in Norwich was last month branded 'inadequate', with inspectors noting a 'dramatic slump' in students' progress and attainment last year.

It is the second time the school has been forced to appoint a temporary leader because principal Kerry Jordan, who took over as head in 2009, was absent. The school was one of 28 visited by Ofsted in March during a week of targeted inspections.

Hethersett slipped from 'good' in 2007 to 'satisfactory' in 2010, and is now 'inadequate' after inspectors said leaders and managers had failed to tackle weaknesses identified in the previous inspection.

They wrote: 'A significant proportion of staff lack confidence in the senior leadership of the school, as is evident from the responses to staff questionnaires. Some staff expressed concerns about the school's lack of strategic direction.'

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Now John Catton, a former headteacher and Ofsted inspector, will be parachuted into the school on Monday as consultant headteacher until Ms Jordan is well again.

In a letter to parents, he said: 'I am highly confident that I will be able to lead the school in rapid improvement because it is precisely the work I have undertaken in other schools in recent times. Others have concluded that my work elsewhere has brought about significant improvement in student learning and achievement.'

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He will hold a meeting with parents and carers on Tuesday evening.

The school said it could not comment on Ms Jordan's future, or the effect on converting to an academy, until Mr Catton started his role on Monday.

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