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Meet village primary school's new permanent headteacher - its first in 18 months

Vicki Long, the new head at Necton Primary School, with some of the pupils. From left, Alfie, eight; Mikey (front), nine; Daisy, 10; Archie, six; Neve, six; and Imogen, eight. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Vicki Long, the new head at Necton Primary School, with some of the pupils. From left, Alfie, eight; Mikey (front), nine; Daisy, 10; Archie, six; Neve, six; and Imogen, eight. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Copyright: Archant 2019

A Norfolk primary school has started the new term with a permanent headteacher - for the first time in 18 months.

Vicki Long, who took over the top job at Necton Primary School at the beginning of January, says she is looking forward to leading the school out of its period of instability and into a “brighter future”.

The school, which has around 200 pupils, has been managed by a succession of interim headteachers since the summer of 2017.

Mrs Long, 41, has worked in schools around Norfolk for 18 years, most recently as headteacher at St Mary and St Peter Primary in Gorleston.

She said she was “very ready for the challenge” of her new appointment.

Vicki Long, the new head at Necton Primary School, with some of the pupils. From left, Alfie, eight; Archie, six; Daisy, 10; Neve, six; Mikey, nine; and Imogen, eight. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYVicki Long, the new head at Necton Primary School, with some of the pupils. From left, Alfie, eight; Archie, six; Daisy, 10; Neve, six; Mikey, nine; and Imogen, eight. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

“The school has been in a transient period. While it has been moving in the right direction there are some things you need a permanent headteacher to move forward with, and that is my top priority,” she said.

“The plan is to make the school feel stable and secure, as it has a headteacher going in five days a week. I also want to build on the Christian values the school has and take all the great things there are here to help the children to benefit from them as much as possible.

“There is a strong community ethic in Necton and the school is at the centre of everything. We want to build on that to make the future even stronger and brighter.”

She added: “The governors at Necton feel they are ready for a period of stability.”

Vicki Long, the new head at Necton Primary School in the classroom with some of the pupils. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYVicki Long, the new head at Necton Primary School in the classroom with some of the pupils. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

An Ofsted inspection at Necton Primary in November 2017 found that “instability in senior leadership” had contributed to a decline in pupil outcomes, especially in key stage two tests.

Mrs Long said school leaders had been working hard in the interim “to get the school as ‘good’ as soon as possible”.

“The school has been lucky to have two fantastic interim heads. The local authority wanted to support the school and make sure they had a strong support structure in place,” she said.

“The education world is very short of headteachers so it is not unusual for schools to find themselves without a headteacher for a period of time.

Vicki Long, the new head at Necton Primary School, with some of the pupils. From left, Alfie, eight; Archie, six; Mikey, nine; Daisy, 10; Neve, six; and Imogen, eight. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYVicki Long, the new head at Necton Primary School, with some of the pupils. From left, Alfie, eight; Archie, six; Mikey, nine; Daisy, 10; Neve, six; and Imogen, eight. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

“It is quite sad really, but the way that jobs are advertised and schools’ reputations are shared means that more and more people can find out about opportunities in Norfolk.”

The school is overseen by the Diocese of Norwich. Paul Dunning, diocesan director of education, said: “We were delighted that the governors were able to appoint Victoria Long as their new headteacher.

“Having supported them through the interview process we know that Victoria brings a wealth of experience and are confident she will be a great success at Necton.”

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