New Yarmouth High School head calls for academy to be put in place

John Robson, headteacher of Great Yarmouth High School

John Robson, headteacher of Great Yarmouth High School - Credit: Archant

The new headteacher at Great Yarmouth High School (GYHS), has said an academy needs to be put in place to help improve stability.

John Robson started his three-day-a-week role before half term, after the Interim Executive Board (IEB) parted ways with Jim McAtear.

It is the school's third headteacher in the past year, and Mr Robson is likely to carry out the job until September, when a full time headteacher is expected to start.

In September, the school announced plans to join the Diocese of Norwich Education Academies Trust.

However, it is not certain when an announcement will be made on when or what academy sponsor will take over the school. The decision is in the hands of the Department for Education.

Mr Robson, said: 'There has been a lot of instability in the school, and that has had a big part to play in all of the uncertainty and negative news that has surrounded Great Yarmouth High.

'Anytime there is a change, there are new challenges and plans for a school, but I am not looking to make major changes.

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'One of my main targets over the next ten weeks or so is to give year 11 students the best possible chance of doing well in their GCSE results, as well as communicate with whoever the new academy sponsor will be to help them going forward.

'Things are improving at the school, but because of the instability over the past couple of years there is still some way to go.'

Mr Robson, has been a headteacher of various Norfolk schools since 1987. However, it was his recent interim roles at St Clement's High School in Terrington, and another based in Boston, Lincolnshire, which led to him taking the role at GYHS.

'Both of those schools were in the same situation, they were struggling.

'I know what it is like in schools which are not going through the best of the times, I have that experience, and I aim to take that forward and do what I can to push the school forward as much as I can during my term.'

During his stint at Great Yarmouth High School, he plans to;

Provide additional science classes for year 11 pupils

Reduce the number of pupil exclusions in year 11, and provide students with a secluded study support room to keep them in school as they prepare for their exams - unless they have behaved dangerously. Extra staff would be brought into cover these sessions

Provide additional lunchtime and after school study sessions

Look at the emotional needs of pupils

Improve the school's overall attendance which he described as a 'concern'

Review budget provision and look at how affective current spending is on raising the attainment of disadvantaged pupils

Look at how staff can plan more effective lessons

He said: 'In terms of student progress numbers we are already performing very strongly against the county.

'Our GCSE target figures for this year are for around 43pc of children to achieve five A* to C grades.

'It is above the 40pc national target, it's still not where we want to be, but it would be an improvement, and if achieved, would be a testament to staff, pupils and parents for the work they have put in.

'Parents I am sure will be wanting reassurances about the school whether their children already attend, or considering to bring their child here.

'What needs to happen is when an academy comes in they need to communicate clearly with parents, staff and pupils what their plans are, how they are going to maintain stability and improve pupil's progress.

'If the school can maintain stability, then its fortunes will improve, but I will use my experience to improve the school as much as I can during my short time here.'

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