Second Inspiration Trust headteacher in two days quits

PUBLISHED: 07:00 28 March 2015

Mark Neild, who had resigned as acting headteacher of the Sir Isaac Newton Sixth Form.

Mark Neild, who had resigned as acting headteacher of the Sir Isaac Newton Sixth Form.


A second headteacher in a week has resigned at short notice from a prominent academy chain.

The Sir Isaac Newton Sixth Form in Norwich, which is sponsored by the Inspiration Trust, told students and parents yesterday that acting headteacher Mark Neild had resigned to take up a job in Suffolk.

The free school opened in September 2013, and the announcement on the last day of term came six months after its founding principal, Mark Evans, left suddenly just before the start of the academic year.

On Thursday, Cromer Academy, which is also sponsored by the Inspiration Trust, announced that Penny Bignell had quit as executive principal to become head of Sewell Park College in Norwich.

In a tweet, Mr Neild said: “It’s been a great pleasure working for Inspiration Trust, at Thetford Academy and Sir Isaac. Wonderful students, parents and staff. Thanks.”

He will now become director of achievement and standards at Samuel Ward Multi Academy Trust in Suffolk.

Mr Neild had been a leading figure in the Inspiration Trust’s successful bid to host the government’s flagship maths hub for Norfolk and Suffolk.

Claire Heald, executive principal of Sir Isaac and its sister the school, the Jane Austen College, said the hub would continue.

She said Mr Neild only asked to leave this week, and would be replaced by assistant principal Chris Jennings while the school sought a permanent head.

She said: “It’s not ideal, but Mark’s post was always acting. We have had continuity. I have been in post since before the summer and the rest of the leadership team has been in post since the start. For the students and staff, it probably feels like you have stability in leadership.”

She added: “It’s an opportunity he just could not turn down. We are very grateful to him. He stepped in that acting role at very short notice and has done a very good job, and had a successful Ofsted.”

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