Academy hires third principal in two years

New principal Philip Sanderson who is taking over from Gill Hewlett.
New principal Philip Sanderson who is taking over from Gill Hewlett.

A North Tyneside academy has appointed its third principal in two years.

Bosses at Kings Priory School in Tynemouth, have appointed a new headteacher after Gill Hewlett announced she was stepping down later this year.

Current vice principal Philip Sanderson will take on the role when Mrs Hewlett steps down.

Philip was at The King’s School for a number of years where he held posts of director of music and assistant headmaster.

“I am delighted to have been appointed to this prestigious post by Woodard Academies Trust,” he said.

“This school has a long history and having been heavily involved in the setting up and first few years of the school I am deeply committed to its success and look forward to taking it to an all-round outstanding school.

“Our recent Ofsted inspection has demonstrated just how much we can achieve in a relatively short period of time. I look forward to working with the fantastic pupils, staff, parents, other schools and the Local Authority to help deliver excellent education provision in North Tyneside”.

The academy, which is sponsored by Woodard Academies Trust, opened in September 2013 amidst a cloud of controversy as it was the first merger between a fee-paying independent school and a state run primary school.

The academy – which caters for pupils aged four to 18 – was rocked last January when principal David Daws left in a ‘mutual agreement’ on the first day of the new spring term after just four months in the job citing a ‘difference of personal opinion’.

Mrs Hewlett had been Head of Senior School at the academy before her promotion last February.

Geoff Ogle, chair of the Academy Council, said: “Philip clearly demonstrated that he understood the needs of our school and what needs to be done to continue on our upward trajectory towards Outstanding.

“This unique school is still only in its third year and Philip has played a key role in its development and success.

“The panel was highly impressed by his vision and plans to take the school forward.”

On behalf of the Woodard Academies Trust, Jan Richardson added: “I am delighted that the panel has decided to appoint Philip Sanderson as the new Principal.

“These posts are important and it is crucial that we make the right selection.

“I am very confident that he will continue to develop this flagship school.”