King’s Lynn school headteacher announces retirement decision

Education news from the Lynn News,, @lynnnewscitizen on Twitter
Education news from the Lynn News,, @lynnnewscitizen on Twitter
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The head of a Lynn secondary school has announced that he will be retiring this summer.

The move coincides with the school’s conversion to academy status, under the sponsorship of the College of West Anglia. That process is due to be completed this autumn.

KES Head Mike Douglass. ANL-140805-130926001

KES Head Mike Douglass. ANL-140805-130926001

In a letter sent to parents this week, Mr Douglass said: “The move to an academy represents an ideal time for me to leave KES and for a new leader to take the school on the next phase of its development.”

He added: “I know I will miss KES greatly as it has been such a major part of my life, but I wanted to thank you for your support over the years.”

Originally from Skelton, near Middlesbrough, Mr Douglass, 55, taught at schools in Cambridgeshire and Essex before joining the staff at KES in 1996.

He became headteacher in September 2002 and admitted it had been a difficult decision to stand down.

He said: “It’s part of my life, this school, and I appreciate the opprtunity to have the chances that I’ve had and relished the work that we have done.”

Mr Douglass plans to remain in the area and hopes to continue to contribute to its development.

Asked what his fondest memories would be, he said: “It’s coming into contact with just a fantastic range of students and seeing the opportunities this school provides and their success over the years.

He added: “I have had the privilege of working alongside some fantastic colleagues.”

News of the decision coincided with yesterday’s release of the latest Ofsted monitoring report into the school’s progress towards coming out of special measures.

The school was graded as inadequate last September, but inspector Jason Howard said reasonable progress is now being made.

He said achievement levels were improving among current students in years seven and 11, though progress in other years remained too slow.

The inspector also reported teaching had improved and better systems had been introduced for the monitoring of performance.

However, the report warned there was still a significant “gender gap” between the progress made by girls and boys in most year groups.

Attendance levels were also said to be below the national average, despite a “more robust” approach being taken towards unauthorised absences from lessons.

Mr Douglass welcomed the report, which he described as “very promising”, and said he was confident the school was well placed to continue its improvement.

He said: “There are aspects that we’re really pleased with and that journey is well underway and it’s helpful that they have given us areas we need to work on.”