New headteacher shares his vision for the future of Norfolk high school

Chris Smith, headteacher at Neatherd High School. Picture: VICTORIA PERTUSA

Chris Smith, headteacher at Neatherd High School. Picture: VICTORIA PERTUSA


A desire to bring a second sixth form to a mid-Norfolk town still remains as a new headteacher prepares to take up his latest position.

Chris Smith, who begins his role as headteacher at Neatherd High in January, will be taking over from Peter Devonish following the merger of the Mid Norfolk Academy Trust with ieTrust.

And although Mr Smith confirmed that currently there are no plans to open a new educational facility, he said it is something that he would welcome.

The 41-year-old, of Norwich, has worked in Dereham for more than 12 years and said: “We do not have any concrete plans for a sixth form and we have no plans in place to start one.

“It is something we would want for the staff and pupils at our school though.”

Chris Smith, headteacher at Neatherd High School. Picture: VICTORIA PERTUSAChris Smith, headteacher at Neatherd High School. Picture: VICTORIA PERTUSA

In 2017 The Times reported how proposals were put forward by Neatherd High School in 2016 to open a second sixth form college in Dereham but the proposals polarised opinions in the town and were later quashed by Norfolk County Council.

Now Mr Smith wants to focus on his vision for the high school’s future and to improve on its existing successes in order to make it a “consistently outstanding school”.

“To have the opportunity to lead it forward is great and something I am very excited about.

“I’ve got a very clear vision of what I want the school to be. We are very happy with our 2018 results and I want to continue to serve the people of Dereham and give them the best education.

Neatherd High School, Dereham. Picture: Ian BurtNeatherd High School, Dereham. Picture: Ian Burt

“My vision for the school is that it achieves success for every students who walks through the school.”

Mr Smith, who began his career teaching geography in Fakenham in 2001, added: “To be able to take on my first headship in a school that I love being a part of so much, is something for which I am very grateful.

“I feel delighted and privileged to be taking on the role of headteacher from January and cannot wait to get started.”

Mr Devonish will take up the position of director of education for the newly formed trust .

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