New principal of Hethersett Academy aims for outstanding in 18 months

Gareth Stevens, executive principal of Hethersett Academy

Gareth Stevens, executive principal of Hethersett Academy - Credit: Archant

The new principal of an underperforming academy says he is ready to turn it into an outstanding school in 18 months.

Gareth Stevens takes on the top job at Hethersett Academy on January 1 having been a vice principal at the Ormiston Victory Academy in Costessey.

The school was plunged into special measures in June after being branded 'inadequate' by Ofsted inspectors.

But 36-year-old Mr Stevens - who replaces acting headteacher, John Catton - said everything was in place for the school to make a rapid turn around.

'I see this as a big opportunity and to be honest I was astonished that a school that from the outside was perceived as being good was in special measures.

You may also want to watch:

'I want to go in and ensure there are standards in place and that the aspirations of students are high,' he said.

The school became an academy on November 1 after being taken on by the Inspiration Trust.

Most Read

Previous headteacher Kerry Jordan, who went on sick leave in June, has now left the school.

Mr Stevens, who previously lived in Hethersett and went to school at Framlingham Earl High School, said the community was backing the school, despite its troubled year.

'I want to make this school the hub of the community and people I've spoken to have been very positive.

'We have got very intelligent students entering the school but their grades once they've been through the school don't reflect that.

'What we want to do is make sure their attainment is through the roof and they are pushing to maximise their potential,' he said.

That improvement will come through raising standards in teaching and learning, according to Mr Stevens.

'It all comes from outstanding teaching and outcomes are a reflection of that.

'We'll be working with all members of staff to make sure there's a consistent level of teaching,' he said.

To that end, the school has already made two appointments to its senior leadership team, with one post heading up teaching and learning.

Mr Stevens added that he will be spending the six weeks assessing the school in readiness for his taking up the post.

• Do you have a view on Hethersett Academy's future? Email education correspondent Martin George via

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter
Comments powered by Disqus