Interim head named for Dereham school

An experienced teacher who was director of Dereham Sixth Form College more than 20 years ago is returning to the town to be the interim headteacher of Northgate High School.

Paul Mitchell was at the helm of the college in the 1980s and then became the county's head of secondary and special school development and an Ofsted inspector.

In 2003 he was appointed headteacher of Aylsham High School and was there for more than five years before returning to Norfolk county advisory work.

He will be head at Northgate from December 31 - when the current headteacher Alex Reed leaves to return to New Zealand - until a permanent head starts in September 2011.

Northgate's chairman of governors Alan Jones described Mr Mitchell as 'one of Norfolk's most able and experienced educators.'

He said: 'Aylsham High School's June 2008 Ofsted report commented that 'the school's success is a direct result of the exceptional leadership of the headteacher.' He knows Northgate and Dereham well. He will bring stability during the interim period and ensure we continue to move ahead with our plans for school improvement.'

Mr Mitchell said: 'I am delighted to have the opportunity to lead this successful school and to work with a team of very dedicated staff as they use their considerable range of skills and expertise to provide the very best opportunities for every child at Northgate High School'.

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Northgate is now advertising for a permanent headteacher and Mr Jones added: 'We shall be seeking a headteacher who appreciates our ethos, who can build on Northgate's many strengths and who can bring innovative ideas for the future.'

Mr Reed announced in September that he was resigning as he and his family had been unable to settle.

Mr Jones said: 'The governors are very sorry that Alex will be leaving the school but we understand and respect his decision to put the happiness of his family first.'