New headteacher at Ormiston Denes Academy after principal quits

Peter Marshall has stepped down as principal of Ormiston Denes Academy. Picture: Nick Butcher

Peter Marshall has stepped down as principal of Ormiston Denes Academy. Picture: Nick Butcher - Credit: Picture: Nick Butcher

A coastal high school has appointed an interim headteacher after its principal resigned.

The Ormiston Academies Trust (OAT) announced that Ben Driver would take the helm at Ormiston Denes Academy in Lowestoft after saying that Peter Marshall had 'decided to leave the academy to explore other career opportunities closer to home'.

Nicole McCartney, managing director of OAT for the eastern region, will support the school as executive principal.

Mr Marshall said: 'After careful thought and consideration I have asked the trust to consider my parting at this stage so that I may pursue other opportunities.'

Mr Marshall took the top job at the Yarmouth Road school in 2012, when it was known as the Denes High School.

He led its conversion to an academy but his main goal in his four years in charge was the 'deep-rooted reform' at the school, which was rated as 'inadequate' by Ofsted in September 2012.

The efforts of Mr Marshall and his team to create what Ofsted described as a 'positive climate for learning' helped to improve things, with the school taken out of 'special measures' in March 2015.

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But the school was still graded as 'requires improvement' and made only small improvements in its GCSE exam results, with 32 per cent of students achieving five A* to C grades including English and maths this year – one per cent up on last August's results.

Ms McCartney said: 'We are sad to be losing Peter, but understand his reasons and are very grateful to him for the work he has done.

'He has put in place solid foundations for sustained improvement, as recognised by Ofsted recently.

What do you think? Email andrew.papworth@archant.co.uk

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