Hunstanton school head to stand down

Paul Marsh
Outgoing Smithdon High School headteacher
Paul Marsh Outgoing Smithdon High School headteacher
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The headteacher of Hunstanton’s Smithdon High School has announced he will leave his post when the school formally becomes an academy later this year.

Paul Marsh, who has held the role for the past two and a half years, will step down at the end of November, before the school re-opens under the sponsorship of the West Norfolk Academies Trust on December 1.

The announcement came just days after it was confirmed the school would no longer admit new sixth form students after the current academic year, with pupils transferring to Springwood High School in Lynn instead.

Officials say the move is necessary because of the prospect of further cuts in funding for the sector.

But concerns have been raised about the travel burden that will be placed on future students and the potential impact on the wider future of the school.

However, Mr Marsh insisted that, while he would miss the school, its future was now secure.

He said: “In line with the national agenda, the school will now enjoy the benefits of academisation, with leadership by top educationists, a school-to-school support network, and economy of scale that will make the future running of the school financially secure.

“I wish the Trust every success with the continued improvement of the school and, more importantly, I wish our students every success in their future lives.

“Meanwhile, I would very much like to thank the whole community of Smithdon High School for its support during my tenure.”

Huw Griffiths, the school’s chairman of governors, paid tribute to Mr Marsh’s “professionalism, commitment and diligence” during the academy conversion process.

He added: While we are desperately sorry to see Paul leave Smithdon High School, we can only wish him the very best for the future and know that another school would benefit hugely from his personality, determination and commitment.”