North Walsham school starts term with 12 new employees and communications policy after criticism

Nine of the 12 new members of staff at North Walsham High School pictured with chair of governors Al

Nine of the 12 new members of staff at North Walsham High School pictured with chair of governors Alex Robinson, front centre left, and head teacher Neil Powell, front centre right. Picture: Andy Newman - Credit: Archant

A north Norfolk high school has started the summer term with 12 new employees and a new communications policy after a staff shortage led to criticism.

North Walsham High School (NWHS) headteacher Neil Powell faced criticism from NASUWT, the largest teaching union at the school, after eight members of staff left and three were suspended since he took charge last June.

But the school now has 10 new teachers and two support staff members in place for the summer term, which it says has particularly strengthened its science and English departments.

MORE: Head of North Walsham High School apologise to parents as staff shortages see class sizes increase

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Mr Powell said: 'Just as an ambitious football club brings in new talent to supplement the team they already have so that they can boost their performance, so we are bringing in some fantastic teachers to join the great team we have at NWHS.

'I'm delighted that we continue to attract some of the best classroom talent to NWHS, which in turn will enable us to deliver improved learning right across the curriculum.'

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They include new assistant headteacher and special needs coordinator Angela Waters, who is also an English teacher and will run the school's Duke of Edinburgh award programme.

The new recruits include: Four science and two humanities teachers, a modern foreign language and English teacher, two trainee English teachers, a teaching assistant and a reprographics assistant.

MORE: North Walsham headteacher willing to 'ruffle feathers' to drive up standards after union criticism

Speaking to this newspaper earlier this month, Mr Powell said he was not afraid to ruffle feathers to drive up standards and improve student outcomes.

But NASUWT said at the time it still had concerns over the leadership and management at the school.

The outcry led to an independent investigation, which recommended better communication around changes at the school.

A school newsletter written by Mr Powell last week says a new communication policy has now been introduced, which states that teachers should respond to concerns by phone within two days, by email within three or with a meeting within five.

'You have every right to push all staff for the very best for your child,' it says. 'It's no more than all my staff want.'

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