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Mark Kingswood takes on top role
THE ASSOCIATE head of a Basingstoke secondary school is celebrating after he was promoted to become headteacher in September.
Mark Kingswood joined The Vyne Community School in September 2010 as deputy head and has now landed the top role. He will take over from interim head Krista Dawkins at the start of the next academic year in September. More than 30 people applied for the job, and five were interviewed.
Mrs Dawkins, who was brought in to guide the school out of ‘special measures’ after it was graded as ‘inadequate’ by Ofsted in September 2010, said of her successor: “As an outgoing head, you want the best for the school, and I was rooting for him all the way.”
She added: “He has been integral and instrumental in the journey we have been on over the last 18 months. He has been involved in every decision that has been made, and I know that I am leaving the school in exceptional hands.”
Mrs Dawkins will return to her full-time job as head of Crestwood College for Business and Enter-prise, in Eastleigh.
Mr Kingswood said: “Whilst I’m an ambitious person as an individual, at this point in my career, I’m far more ambitious for The Vyne and for education in Basingstoke.”
He began his career in 2000 in the Midlands, teaching French, German and Spanish, before moving to Basingstoke to Brighton Hill Community School where he eventually became assistant headteacher.
He has helped The Vyne through a challenging time after it was put in ‘special measures’ and said his appointment will keep the continuity needed to keep the school moving forward.
He said: “You have to be able to build relationships with students and parents in order to be able to move things forward, and that’s why the staff and students and parents are pleased that the appointment has gone to someone they trust, having gone through the instability.”
He added: “My commitment is to the children and community of Basingstoke.
“This is about the future of the town’s economy and growing people who are contributing socially and economically to the future of the town.”
Mr Kingswood’s new job will also signal the introduction of a new uniform for September 2013, which will replace the black jumpers with Royal blue ones, and navy blue for Year 11.
The school’s sports hall is also undergoing a £100,000 refurbishment by Hampshire County Council, and a £50,000 hard court area will be introduced.
The Vyne came out of ‘special measures’ in April last year, and has double the number of Year 7s starting this September than in 2012, rising from 50 to 100.
Mr Kingswood said: “I have been in awe of the levels of energy and loyalty shown by students, staff, parents and governors throughout our journey of school improvement.
“I feel an intense attachment to The Vyne and have an absolute belief in my own and the staff’s ability to make it an outstanding school.”
Mrs Dawkins said she will be sad to say goodbye to The Vyne, adding: “You can’t work at a school like this without it getting under your skin. The children have been the most amazing individuals and the staff are so supportive.”
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