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New headteacher of Swaffham school vows to rebuild trust and reputation

PUBLISHED: 15:24 11 September 2018 | UPDATED: 15:24 11 September 2018

Mark Woodhouse is the headteacher of The Nicholas Hamond Academy. Picture: Mark Woodhouse

Mark Woodhouse is the headteacher of The Nicholas Hamond Academy. Picture: Mark Woodhouse

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The new headteacher of The Nicholas Hamond Academy in Swaffham has vowed to rebuild the school’s reputation and earn back the community’s trust.

Mark Woodhouse is starting his first full academic year in his new position and following on from a tough period for the school, wants to make the school experience as best as possible for his students.

He said: “The pupils have suffered in the last few years. We’ve had issues in staffing and getting enough in but we now have a full team of staff for this year.

“As an academy we have to build our reputation up. The way we are doing that is to give these students the best experience they can and hopefully they will feel positively about it.”

In April, the former head teacher of the school Cheryl Hill was banned indefinitely from teaching for breaching professional standards by failing to conduct proper checks on a young man who worked and studied at the school and had a previous reprimand for a sex offence.

Mr Woodhouse said he wants to earn back the community’s trust by improving communication and providing students with an enjoyable learning environment.

He added: “We want to work with all the local schools to create opportunities.

“One of the big issues we face is that communication isn’t great. It’s often an issue but we want to make it much better.

“We are going to send staff out to the community and get parents in more often to meet staff and to have a better understanding of what we are doing in school.”

The most recent GCSE results showed only 46pc of students at the Nicholas Hamond Academy achieved at least a grade four in English and maths.

Mr Woodhouse said: “I think on the face of it they look bad. In terms of what they measure, it measures what they have achieved.

“I don’t think the students are achieving all they can but they are not as bad as they appear on the face of it. I think the progress we are making will show.

“We have also created a student leadership team who are going out into the community.

“Hopefully our students will go out into the community and tell everyone how much we are improving.”

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