School employs youngest head

Pocklington Community Junior School's new headteacher Alex Reppold.
Pocklington Community Junior School's new headteacher Alex Reppold.

A school in Pocklington has employed the youngest headteacher in the country, the Post can reveal.

Alex Reppold, who is just 28, took over the helm of Pocklington Community Junior School this week. Mr Reppold, who was born and raised in York, has taken over from Carole Fulstow, who left in February and moved on to Elloughton Community Primary School. The junior school has had an acting headteacher - Jo Carroll - in the meantime.

Mr Reppold, who was a general class teacher at Longhill Primary School, in Hull, and deputy headteacher at Malton Community Primary School, is not daunted by the job he has taken on.

He said: “I have been fortunate I have worked in some wonderful schools. To take on a headteacher role at any school is a real privilege. With a good staff team around you you can do anything.

“I can see enormous potential here. Everyone is very welcoming. I can see what this school could become. It’s about pointing people in the right direction. I am allowing people to do their job.

“It [Being the youngest headteacher] comes with a lot of pressure. Some people will question if I am too young. But I am good at my job and can only do my best. It is an honour to think I am the youngest. It is about having the right skills for the job.”

Mr Reppold, who has been studying for his Masters in Education, says Pocklington Community Junior School “has the capacity to become a beacon of excellence within the East Riding”.

He explained: “The town of Pocklington deserves it to be such a school. But at the same time the school cannot be of a generic model, the school’s curriculum needs to be highly tailored to the needs both of the children and the community, it is a community school after all.

“Alongside academic development, schools play a vital part in laying the foundations of the values and attitudes the children will carry with them into their secondary education and into their adult lives, and this is why being a community school is so important, the community has a role and a responsibility to support these young people and to share their views as to what the adults of tomorrow will be like. This isn’t about academic development, we will teach the national curriculum to the very highest standard, rather, this is about the topics we’ll cover, the assemblies we’ll have and the expectations we’ll stand by.” 

The new headteacher wants to open this debate up to the community, including parents of current pupils at the school, parents of past and future pupils, local businesses and employers, young adults and teenagers, and older members of the community.

He added: “I’m pleased the Pocklington Post has been able to support us in this work.” His questions to all readers are:

• What values do we need to instil in our young people?

• What attitudes are needed to survive in modern employment in your industry?

• What principles are fundamental to becoming a citizen of Pocklington?

• Is there any specific historical, geographical or political knowledge in the town which you feel the children should learn about?

The school will take everyone’s views into account.

You can email the school at pcjs@eastriding.gov.uk or the Post at news@pocklingtontoday.co.uk. You can also post your thoughts in a letter to Daniel Willers, Pocklington Post, Newchase Court, Hopper Hill Road, Scarborough Busienss Park, Scarborough YO11 3YS. Alternatively, drop in to the school and speak to Sue Yeates or another member of staff.

Russ Burn, the junior school’s chair of governors, said: “The governors of Pocklington Community Junior School are delighted to welcome Alex and look forward to working with him”.