New headteachers aim to build on improvements at high schools

East Point Academy in Lowestoft. Picture: James Bass

East Point Academy in Lowestoft. Picture: James Bass - Credit: James Bass

Two new headteachers have pledged to build on improvements at a pair of major high schools after a change in leadership.

Thetford Academy principal Adrian Ball has been promoted to director of schools at its sponsor, the Inspiration Trust – leading Kevin Blakey, a former vice-principal at Thetford, to take up the top position.

Mr Blakey's previous role as principal at East Point Academy in Lowestoft will now be taken by Richard Dolding, who has been vice-principal at the coastal school for the past 18 months.

Mr Dolding is the third new headteacher to take over at one of the town's four high schools in the past two months, with Anthony Walker taking over the reins at Pakefield High School and Ben Driver replacing Peter Marshall at Ormiston Denes Academy.

However, Mr Blakey will still retain a link at East Point as executive principal, where he will be meeting with Mr Dolding regularly to offer advice and guidance.

Mr Blakey said: 'It's fantastic to be returning to Thetford Academy and to be able to build on the great work by Adrian Ball as principal, our students, and our staff – both in and out of the classroom.

'My priority over the coming weeks is to meet as many students and families as possible and understand how we can best take the academy forward in the future.

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'I'm aware of how important the academy and sixth form are to the town and I want to ensure we continue to work together to improve.'

Mr Dolding, 44, said Mr Blakey's involvement at East Point would help to ensure stability and continuity for the coastal school.

He praised Mr Blakey for 'putting some fantastic building blocks' in place as well as a systemic plan for improving results at the school, which saw a huge rise in the proportion of students achieving five A* to C grades at GCSE, including English and maths, this year.

'It's been about creating accurate assessment of individual students, diagnosing what they need to improve and offering them the right therapy to help them improve, learn and make progress,' Mr Dolding said.

'It's also about students not being happy with just passing exams but doing the best they can.

'It's really about continued improvement and striving for the best. We want everyone to have the aspiration to do the very best they can.

'We've got to keep moving forward and can't rest on our laurels.'

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