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Headteacher at Kirkley High School will not lead Waveney's first academy

PUBLISHED: 11:30 13 May 2011

richard pickard

richard pickard

THE man appointed to guide Lowestoft's biggest school into a new era will not be at the helm in September when it becomes Waveney's first academy, it emerged this week.

Kirkley High School will assume academy status in the autumn in a move hailed by headteacher Richard Pickard, right, in March this year as “really positive news” for its pupils, teaching staff and the local community.

However, he has recently been away from the school as a result of ill health and will not be resuming his post.

Yesterday, local education authority officials at Suffolk County Council confirmed that Mr Pickard would not be returning to the school. A statement released to The Journal said: “Following Mr Pickard’s absence due to ill health he has decided that he will not be returning to Kirkley High School.

“Mr Pickard had a commitment and determination to taking the school forward. Everyone connected with the school wishes Mr Pickard health and success for the future.”

Mr Pickard was appointed head of the school in Kirkley Run in 2009 and faced an immediate challenge in turning around its academic fortunes. In recent years, Kirkley High has been placed on special measures and had a considerable budget deficit. But academy status was seen as a “new beginning” for the school.

Talking to The Journal when the academy plan was announced, Mr Pickard was full of optimism for the future.

“As you are well aware of our relatively recent past, we’ve been on special measures and there has been a deficit in the budget,” he said. “To become an academy will be a major benefit to all the pupils and the community in the local area. This is really, really positive news and something that will provide a real statement for Lowestoft.”

Following the controversial Schools Organisation Review, Kirkley High will be accepting children aged 11 to 16 from September – moving away from the 13 to 18 comprehensive system that has been in place for decades.

From September, Kirkley will be sponsored by the Academies Enterprise Trust (AET) which has the slogan “To make our best better”.

There has been no announcement yet about the appointment of a headteacher.

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