Top class teacher gets a head start

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A TEACHER has been given the top job at the South Tyneside school she helped turn around.

Jill Gillies will officially take over as head at Jarrow School next month.

The end of the year will see executive headteacher, Ken Gibson, handing over the baton after three years at the helm.

Mr Gibson was drafted in to improve standards at the school, which has 579 pupils aged 11 to 16, after Ofsted inspectors gave it a notice to improve three years ago.

Ms Gillies has worked closely with Mr Gibson as head of school and acting head to make sure the building in Field Terrace, has gone from strength to strength, culminating in its recent ‘Good’ Ofsted report, which included several Outstanding judgements.

She said: “I can’t quite believe I am going to be headteacher and Jarrow School will be my school. I am excited to get started and continue moving forward.

“I started here more than 20 years ago as a newly-qualified teacher, and I have worked my way up to headteacher so I know the school, the community and the parents very well.

“We want Jarrow School to be an outstanding school – that is our vision and our aim, and I believe, with the fantastic team we have, we can achieve that.”

Mr Gibson, who is also executive head at Harton Technology College in South Shields, and Sunderland’s Academy 360, says he couldn’t be leaving the school in better hands.

“Ms Gillies has been a formidable driving force over the past three years, and she is a first-class appointment for the school,” he said.

“I am extremely proud to have been a small part of the success of the school in recent times and will be very sad leaving, but I am confident Jarrow School will continue to prosper with Ms Gillies at the helm and I look forward to hearing about the continued success.

“I’d like to thank everyone for their stunning efforts and support in what has been a fabulous time for me personally.”

Ms Gillies added: “We are very sad to see Ken go as he has been an exceptional force in moving the school forward. I have been with him every step of the way and I can promise we will carry on progressing and striving for the best.”

The pair will carry on working together, and links forged at the school during the partnership will see Jarrow School continue to work with Harton Technology College.

Twitter: @ShieldsGazVez