“It has a very bright future” - new head’s optimism for the Hewett School

The new headteacher of The Hewett School Tom Leverage.Picture: ANTONY KELLY

The new headteacher of The Hewett School Tom Leverage.Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

The man given the job of leading a troubled high school into a new era has said it has 'a very bright future'.

Tom Leverage, who has been appointed permanent headteacher of the Hewett School, said he wants to return it to the success he remembered when growing up in the city.

The school has had a troubled recent history, with disappointing exams results, falling rolls, and being put in special measures last year, although last term's Ofsted monitoring report found evidence of improvements.

The Cambridge University geography graduate is currently deputy headteacher at the nearby Notre Dame High School.

Mr Leverage moved to Norwich, from Scotland, when he was three and a half, and as a pupil at Notre Dame he used the Hewett's playing fields.

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He has worked in North Yorkshire and Herefordshire, as well as Eaton Hall Specialist Academy, a special school for boys in Norwich.

Asked why he sought the Hewett job, he said: 'It's the desire to be able to look for what the Hewett School can become. I remember when I was at school, it being a school of 2,000.

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'What I see is the potential for the school, and certainly for me I'm very much focussed on being the advocate for each and every child, and it's the progression that each child makes that absolutely comes first for me.'

Asked whether the school would retain its ethos, he said he was 'acutely aware' of its support in the local community, and the desire for it to become a good school again.

In March, the government said it wanted the Hewett to become an academy sponsored by the Inspiration Trust, provoking hundreds of people to march through the city centre in protest.

A formal consultation on the plans is due to start shortly.

Mr Leverage said he did not think the eventual decision about who would sponsor the school would detract from him focussing on his goals.

He added: 'The school does have a future. It has a very bright future, and in terms of reassuring parents around the stability of the school and the staff team, for those parents looking to send their children, there are great opportunities to be had here. It's a dedicated staff team who are going from strength to strength.'

Do you have an education story? Email martin.george@archant.co.uk

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