One head is better than two as West Norfolk schools opt for single principal

Springwood High School headteacher Andy Johnson. Picture: Ian Burt

Springwood High School headteacher Andy Johnson. Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: IAN BURT

It is often said that two heads are better than one – but a pair of Norfolk secondary schools have opted for the opposite approach by appointing a single headteacher between them.

Andy Johnson will add to his current role as headteacher at Springwood High School, King's Lynn, by taking on the headship of St Clement's High School, in Terrington St Clement, from January 1.

As 'executive headteacher' he will split his hours between the two while being helped by an executive leadership team.

Mark Ballman will take on the role of associate headteacher while John Hirst and David Hutton will assist him at St Clement's.

'This is about a team approach,' he explained. 'When the opportunity came along, we thought it would be good to support each other.'


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Springwood became an academy in 2011 run by the Springwood High School Academy Trust. It was later renamed the West Norfolk Academies Trust and approached by the governmement about sponsoring other schools.

In March, St Clement's was judged to be failing by Ofsted inspectors, who were concerned standards had fallen for three consecutive years. Inspectors have since said that the arrival of interim head John Robson was 'transformational'.

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Yet Mr Johnson confirmed Mr Robson would leave in December after governors voted to convert the school into an academy.

Mr Johnson said the new executive leadership team would bring stability to St Clement's – but stressed the individual schools would take credit for their results, not the West Norfolk Academies Trust. 'It is simply a mechanism to support those schools to do their best,' he said.

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