Principal leaves academy after just four months

David Dawes.  GM016214
David Dawes. GM016214

A headteacher has quit over a difference of “vision” just four months after taking up the reigns at the borough’s newest academy.

David Dawes left his role as principal of the Kings Priory Academy, in Tynemouth, on December 31, by mutual agreement.

Woodard Academies Trust, sponsors of the academy, announced the decision as pupils returned to the school this week.

Mr Dawes, who was principal designate of the academy from April 2013 and then principal from September 1, played a key role in opening the new academy for pupils from the ages of four to 18.

A trust spokesperson said: “Owing to a difference of personal vision with the trust over key aspects of the school’s future leadership and direction, Mr Dawes offered to step down from his post at the end of December 2013 which was accepted by the trust.

“In the circumstances it was agreed by both parties that it would be in the best interests of the school for this to be with immediate effect.

Mr Dawes said: “I have thoroughly enjoyed working with the pupils, parents, colleagues, academy councillors and other members of the local community and felt privileged to guide Kings Priory School to opening.

“I would like to thank everyone who supported me and I wish the school and Woodard Academies Trust all the very best in the future.”

Jan Richardson, chairman of the Woodard Academies Trust, said: “Strong foundations have been laid at Kings Priory School where young people are ‘nurtured, valued and known’ in the Woodard tradition, and where all understand learning to be the core business of the school.

“We appreciate the significant role which Mr Dawes has played in setting up the school and we wish him every success in the future.”

The Academy will be led by Sue Melbourne, the current head of primary and middle schools, and Gill Hewlett, the current head of senior school.

David Bilton, chief executive of Woodard Academies Trust said: “Our continuing focus is on providing the best education we possibly can for the pupils of Kings Priory School.

“We understand that change may be unsettling for some but we are confident that the experience and gravitas, which both Sue and Gill possess, will ensure that we continue to build an outstanding school for the Tynemouth community.”