New head’s pledge to save school

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A DETERMINED new headteacher has promised to pull a struggling school out of special measures within the next 12 months.

Gavin Chappell was last week appointed acting head at Market Weighton School, which was placed into special measures after a critical Ofsted report in October last year.

The 40-year-old, who previously worked at South Hunsley School, has replaced Phil Tibbetts who resigned in April due to ill health.

Before taking on the role, Mr Chappell had worked at the school since February on the leadership team as a partnership director.

His role was to act as a link between Market Weighton School and South Hunsley, which was asked to provide support to the struggling school and help turn it around.

Mr Chappell believes the school has made progress in recent months and is confident he can help bring it out of special measures in the next year.

He said: “We are very confident.

“We have already made progress in terms of trying to get the school out of special measures. So we are confident over the next 12 months this school will come out of special measures. I think we now have the right things in place.”

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“It’s going to mean a lot more hard work but the staff here and the governing body are very committed to making sure that happens.”

The school, which has over 600 pupils, recently had a visit from an HM Inspectorate of Education inspector who thought the school was moving in the right direction.

According to Mr Chappell, the inspector believed the standard of teaching had improved, which was one of the areas Ofsted believed was not up to scratch, along with the school’s leadership and management, the aspiration and expectation of students and the sixth form.

Mr Chappell said: “We had a monitoring visit in my first few weeks of being here which was a shock. But we have just had another monitoring visit. Things have changed and our chief inspector is pleased with us because we are making progress and he said the standard of teaching was getting better.

“We have done a lot of work with staff in terms of training them and making them more confident in the classroom and developing their classroom skills and we’ve also worked hard with the governors of the school to get the strategy right for the longer term.”

As well as pulling the school out of special measures, the acting head’s vision for the school consists of helping pupils fulfil their potential.

“Our vision for the school is a school in which youngsters aspire to achieve their very best and realise that they can all achieve,” he said.

Mr Chappell has 16 years teaching experience all together and worked at a school in Essex before he moved back up north to teach at South Hunsley.

Debbie Lord, Chair of Governors:, said “The Governing Body is delighted to have appointed Gavin Chappell as acting head of school for the next academic year. We are confident Gavin will do an excellent job of moving the school forward in order to deliver the improvements required to bring the school out of special measures.”