Principal begins her last term at academy

Kings Priory headteacher Gill Hewlett (right) with Rebecca Watson, head of middle school (left), and Sue Melbourne, head of first school.

Kings Priory headteacher Gill Hewlett (right) with Rebecca Watson, head of middle school (left), and Sue Melbourne, head of first school.

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A headteacher is confident a school will continue to improve as she embarks on her last term in the role.

Gill Hewlett will stand down as headteacher of Kings Priory School, in Tynemouth, at Christmas, but is confident the structure is in place for pupils to continue to thrive.

I’m excited by the future of the school, it has got a good firm foundation now.

Gill Hewlett

The school, sponsored by Woodard Academies Trust, opened in September 2013 and was the first merger between a fee-paying independent school and a state-run primary school.

While other schools have failed to perform well after similar mergers, Mrs Hewlett believes the success of Kings Priory is down to the structure in place and the staff.

Speaking to the News Guardian, she said: “We’ve made phenomenal progress.

“As well as the Ofsted report, our A-Level results were the best average point score per entry by a school in North Tyneside.

“We hope, as we move forward, we can support other independent schools to see if our journey can be replicated.

“The staff here are fantastic. When we share something new, they have taken it on board quickly.”

And Mrs Hewlett believes results can only get better thanks to the school educating pupils from the age of four to 18, meaning there is no change or reevaluating of pupils.

She has also overseen the construction of a new primary school block, while work is on schedule for a new sixth form and middle school block.

Mrs Hewlett said: “It’s been joyful being headteacher here. It’s been a privilege to work for the Trust.”

“I’m sure my connections with the school won’t end.

“I think my legacy is, to a certain degree, you can offer an outstanding education when you all share the same vision and all work to that end, that is what has happened here.”

Mrs Hewlett will head back home to Gloucestershire where she will take up a role within the Woodard Academies Trust as an education specialist to continue to develop education provision.

“I’m very confident in the future here,” she added. “Ofsted were very sure the school would go on well without me. The school isn’t just a headteacher.

“I’ll still be checking the results of students at Kings Priory. My heart has been in this school, I shall miss it greatly.

“I’m excited by the future of the school, it has got a good firm foundation now.

“We have good structures in place.”