Yarmouth High headteacher says school is on the up after difficult few years

Great Yarmouth High School headteacher Louise Jackson

Great Yarmouth High School headteacher Louise Jackson - Credit: Archant

The headteacher at Great Yarmouth High School is confident it is on the right track, despite a difficult few years.

The headteacher at Great Yarmouth High School is confident it is on the right track, despite a difficult few years.

For some the role could be seen as a poisoned chalice, but Louise Jackson, who took over in September has described the job as a 'unique opportunity' to make a positive impact.

The school has faced many challenges over recent years, the most recent of which was a squabble over the site's lease – which last week was finally agreed.

She said: 'It is no secret the challenges the school has faced in the last several years, but my appointment was aimed at bringing some stability and leadership.

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'The agreement with the Inspiration Trust going forward is a positive move.

'It will allow for greater collaboration with other schools such as East Point Academy in Lowestoft which was once under special measures but after its latest Ofsted report is now seen as a good school.

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'The trust will also help with resources and improving staff. It gives the school a strong base to build on.'

The school has appointed a new head of maths – a subject in which Ofsted described the school's situation as 'desperate'. Miss Jackson said the new head, who is coming in from London, will bring in 'new ideas and a new way of thinking'.

Other key issues being tackled are behaviour, career development, anti-bullying and engaging the pupils within the community.

Year 11 students part of the school's leadership team (PLT), as well as the school's head boy and head girl, said that positive changes have come in these areas.

Maddy Bott, a year 11 student who is part of the PLT said: 'It has been a rocky road but for the last two years the school has knuckled down and things have improved.'

She added that the headteacher's new behaviour policy provides more clarity to students than in previous regimes, and that sanctions are better balanced by achievement rewards.

Brad Burch, who is the headboy of year 11 said extra revision classes have been put in place, with focus put on subjects where students are struggling.

He added that the introduction of a new head of maths has been positive, describing the situation beforehand as 'just above adequate'.

Behaviour and anti-bullying issues were raised by Ofsted in recent reports. Miss Jackson said that steps have been taken to tackle these issues area, and to make pupils feel confident to raise any bullying concerns.

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