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An experienced educationalist has described becoming the new headteacher of Samuel Ward Academy as a “real privilege”.
Mark Neild has been appointed at the high-performing Haverhill school after spending the last two years as Director of Secondary Education at the Samuel Ward Academy Trust.
Mr Neild, who had been installed as acting headteacher after Kath Just left in the summer, said: “I am very excited and it is a real privilege to be the new headteacher of a school that means so much to its local community.
“I believe deeply in the values and ethos of this school and will do everything I can to help achieve academic success and personal development to our young students.
“Given my previous role with the Trust, I am acutely aware of the strengths of the school and I look forward to working with staff, students, parents and the governing body to further enhance these.
“I would love the chance to talk to parents and I hope to meet as many as possible when we hold our school open evening on 19th October and as well as our sixth form open evening a week before on 12th October.”
Mr Neild has been a leading figure at the Trust, of which Samuel Ward School is a founder member, for the last three years – having previously held senior roles at the Inspiration Trust in Norwich and Thetford Academy.
Tim Coulson, chief executive of Samuel Ward Academy Trust, said: “Mark has had an outstanding career and the Trust has had great benefit from his three years as Director of Secondary Education. I am sure he will be an excellent headteacher at Samuel Ward Academy.”
Sue Kehr, new chair of governors at the school, said she was delighted with the appointment.
In a letter to parents, she added: “Mr Neild knew the school well and has got to know it even better whilst being Acting Head since the beginning of this term.
“The governors were very pleased to consider a number of applications for the post and were in no doubt that his was the outstanding application. Having carried out a number of interviews, we offered the post to Mr Neild.
“I know he is looking forward very much to getting to know the students and parents.”
Mr Neild will start his position as headteacher with immediate effect.