Co-heads appointed to run the Stanway School

Essex County Standard: Two heads are better than one Two heads are better than one

THEY say two heads are better than one and at Stanway School, they are putting the saying to the test.

The school is the first in north Essex to appoint two co-heads to take on the leadership of the school.

The pair, Jonathan Bland and Scott Holder, will work in tandem and Brian Palmer, chairman of governors for the Stanway Federation, said he is in no doubt it is the best option for the school.

Mr Palmer said: "Stanway has been a good school for some time. It is time for it to become outstanding.

"That is a big enough job but in addition, there is the North East Essex Education Partnership which I believe is unique in this country.

"It has been suggested by Lord Nash (Education Minister) this sort of partnership will not work but we are going to prove him wrong."

The partnership works by sharing best practice across seven north Essex schools in a bid to raise educational standards.

Stanway School has also been given approval to sponsor up to eight primary schools to become academies.

It is hoped this will help to raise standards further and create a smooth transition between primary and secondary education.

Mr Palmer said the school would not be paying two headteacher salaries but Mr Bland and Mr Holder would share a combined head's and deputy head's wage.

Mr Bland's expertise lies in Maths and Science while Mr Holder's is in English and Humanities.

Both will be responsible for different challenges as they arise.

All candidates for the role were internal.

Mr Palmer said: "We were aware we had a succession problem five years ago.

"We appointed at assistant head level with the intention of promoting to deputy and then head.

"As governors, we want the ethos of the school to continue.

"The new co-heads have both worked at Thomas, Lord Audley School - which is also in the federation - and with the head there Helena Boast.

"We have put a lot of work into ensuring what we are doing is right."

Mr Bland and Mr Holder will take over from retiring head teacher Jonathan Tippett in September.

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