Headteacher Priscilla returns to Norfolk to lead coastal schools

Sparhawk Infant School and head Priscilla Crane celebrate their "good" Ofsted ratingPHOTO BY SIMON F

Sparhawk Infant School and head Priscilla Crane celebrate their "good" Ofsted ratingPHOTO BY SIMON FINLAY - Credit: SIMON FINLAY

A seasoned Norfolk headteacher is returning to home turf to lead two coastal schools.

Priscilla Crane has honed her teaching skills in schools around the county over the past 15 years, including at St Augustine's in Costessey, where she progressed to deputy headteacher, and at Sparhawk Infant and Nursey in Sprowston, which she helped to achieve a 'good' Ofsted as headteacher.

The 39-year-old has spent the past two years as a primary adviser for Cambridgeshire County Council, supporting headteachers with school improvement.

She is now set to make a return to teaching after being recruited as the new executive headteacher for two schools – St Mary and St Peter Primary in Gorleston – where she started her career as a newly qualified teacher in 2003 – and St Mary's Roman Catholic Primary in Lowestoft. She will take up the post in February.

Both schools are run by the Norwich-based St John the Baptist Catholic Multi Academy Trust (MAT).

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Mrs Crane, who lives in Costessey, said: 'First and foremost I was attracted because the position was within the Catholic MAT. I'm a cradle Catholic so working in Catholic schools with our shared ethos comes so natural to me.

'Secondly, I was attracted to the challenge. I see the role as being a cross between my two most recent positions – a headteacher and adviser.

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'I enjoy the challenges and complexities that come with leading teams and developing leaders. Schools thrive when staff at all levels see themselves as leaders and developing a distributive leadership model across the two schools will be an exciting challenge.'

While she has no particular concerns about managing two schools, Mrs Crane said there would be challenges.

First on her to-do list is to put a 'self-evaluation' process in place to assess the schools' individual strengths and weaknesses to help her and staff 'understand' them better.

Both were judged 'good' in their most recent Ofsted inspections.

Mrs Crane said: 'Securing a strong strategic leadership model across the schools is a priority and once this is effectively in place, I think we will have great schools doing great things for all our pupils.'

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