Two headteachers are better than one at Fort Hill Community School

Basingstoke Gazette: Fort Hill head girl Nakita Brades and head boy Nathanial Nelson-Williams with headteacher Vicky Essex. Buy this photo » Fort Hill head girl Nakita Brades and head boy Nathanial Nelson-Williams with headteacher Vicky Essex.

BIG changes are happening at Fort Hill Community School – and it’s now a place where two heads are better than one.

Vicky Essex has been appointed as the interim head of school at Fort Hill, arriving in November. She is working closely with executive head Betty Elkins, headteacher at Cranbourne Business and Enterprise College, who is overseeing the school on a part-time basis.

The interim head has worked in education in Hampshire for more than 15 years, as vice-principal at Winton Community Academy, in Andover, and associate headteacher at Sandown Bay Academy, on the Isle of Wight.

Fort Hill was graded by education watchdog Ofsted as a school which “requires improvement” in May this year, and Mrs Essex aims to work with everyone at the school to make sure it makes the necessary progress.

She said: “I aim to work with the students, parents and staff to build on the current good practice in teaching and learning, to make all learning opportunities consistently good.

“Improved standards in teaching and learning will inevitably lead to improved outcomes for students so that Fort Hill can be a school that the community is proud of.”

Mrs Essex is already impressed with the community spirit shown at the school after students raised more than £6,000 for charity so far this year.

“Fort Hill is a community school and since I started as interim head of school in November, I have been incredibly impressed by the sense of community that the students, parents and staff display and the welcome I have received.

“There is an ethos of working together and supporting one another, and this is particularly evident through the impressive fundraising events that the school runs.

“It is this sense of community that I want to harness and use as the basis for moving the school forward.”

Mrs Essex will remain as interim head at the school until August 31, 2014, when a permanent headteacher will be appointed.

See this week's Gazette, on sale now, for a special School Report feature on Fort Hill.

Comments (1)

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10:47pm Fri 20 Dec 13

Jo Walke says...

The recent high staff turnover and continuing staff absences have not and are not assisting either the pupils or the school.

Pupils still appear to not realise who Betty Elkins is......at least Vicky Essex has been introduced to pupils twice since November..........it
s a shame stability cannot be brought back to this school, in the form of a new - permanent - head, before the start of the next academic year.
The recent high staff turnover and continuing staff absences have not and are not assisting either the pupils or the school. Pupils still appear to not realise who Betty Elkins is......at least Vicky Essex has been introduced to pupils twice since November..........it s a shame stability cannot be brought back to this school, in the form of a new - permanent - head, before the start of the next academic year. Jo Walke

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