New principal set to take helm at Norwich academy

Mary Sparrow. Pic: Submitted.

Mary Sparrow. Pic: Submitted. - Credit: Archant

One of Norfolk's first academies has announced the appointment of a new principal who will take over next year.

Mary Sparrow will take the helm at City Academy Norwich, previously Earlham High School, on January 1, 2015. She will succeed David Brunton, who is retiring after six years in the post.

Mrs Sparrow, who joins the academy following more than four years as headteacher of Wexham School in Slough, said: 'I have been impressed by the commitment of the teaching staff and students, as well as by the quality of the teaching, and by the fact that the students I have met are full of aspirations for what they want to achieve.

'At this important point in the year one of the first priorities for me will be getting to know the students, in particular the current year 11s, and ensuring they get the best results they can in their exams this summer.

'Alongside this, we will also be working on other things we can do to support student success in the longer term.

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'While transition work has begun already, I can't wait to start in earnest at City Academy Norwich from the beginning of January. I am really excited by what our students, supported by the staff, parents, governors, sponsors, our TEN Group partners and the local community, can achieve together.'

During her time at Slough Mrs Sparrow, who has family in Norwich, oversaw the school's improvement from a long-standing Oftsed rating of 'satisfactory' to one of 'good' in September 2013.

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Previously, she was deputy headteacher at Regent High School (formerly South Camden Community School) in London and had earlier established her teaching career as an Advanced Skills Teacher in drama. She has also worked as a local authority education advisor.

Mrs Sparrow, who is married and has a three-year-old son, has just been granted planning permission for full residential status to enable the family to live in their barge, moored at Beccles.

Dick Palmer, Transforming Education in Norfolk (the TEN Group) chief executive, said: 'I am delighted to welcome Mary Sparrow to City Academy Norwich, becoming the first female principal at the school. Mary understands and shares the values and aspirations we have for City Academy Norwich and will make a huge contribution to both the academy and to the TEN Group as a whole.'

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