New heads will aim for the top at school

From left, Pat Porter, the chairman of governors at Nova Hreod School, current principal Julie Tridgell, new principal Darren Barton and new executive principal Ben Parnell

From left, Pat Porter, the chairman of governors at Nova Hreod School, current principal Julie Tridgell, new principal Darren Barton and new executive principal Ben Parnell

First published in News

INCOMING headteachers Ben Parnell and Darren Barton hope to push Nova Hreod into the top 25 per cent of schools in the country.

From May 1, the pair will take on the academy in Akers Way and replace existing head Julie Tridgell, who announced her intention to leave the school in February.

It will be Mr Barton’s first role as a headteacher, and during the first year he will be supported by Interim Executive Principal Mr Parnell.

While Mr Barton is intending to relocate for the role, Mr Parnell will only be on site two days a week.

Mr Parnell said: “As an Executive Principal I oversee several schools and it means there are stronger ties between the schools and that they support each other.

“I’ll be based here just a couple of days a week where Darren will be here full time.”

Mr Barton said he was looking forward to starting at Nova and getting to know the staff and students. “I’m really excited to be coming to Nova Hreod.

“It’s a fantastic professional opportunity and has such brilliant facilities. These kind of opportunities don’t come along very often and I can’t wait to get started.

“I’m also looking forward to meeting all the students and their parents in the community and working with them to provide the best possible education for local families.”

Both Mr Barton and Mr Parnell are coming to Nova Hreod from the school’s sister schools in the United Learning Group, the Glenmoor and Winton academies in Bournemouth.

While Mr Parnell will continue to be based mainly in Bourne-mouth where he is Executive Principal at four schools, he hopes that they will be able to foster links to further nurture the students education.

He said: “Nova Hreod also has a huge sporting reputation like the schools in Bournemouth and it would be good to develop that relationship. Realistically Bourne-mouth is only 70 miles down the road.

“Our main aims are to improve standards in English and maths and realise Nova Hreod’s potential to become an outstanding school.”

Mrs Tridgell, who was not available for interview with the Adver, will leave the school at the end of the month, and welcomed the new leaders to the school.

In a statement, she said: “Although I have been considering taking some time out to refresh for a while, I wanted to wait until the time was right for Nova.

“I will be leaving a little earlier than I had originally thought, but now that the school is stable and secure I have decided it is the right time to move on.

“I am so pleased that two exceptional leaders have been identified to take the school on the next stage of its journey. “I have met Mr Parnell and Mr Barton many times before, as they join us from other United Learning academies, and I know the school has a positive future ahead of it.

“While it is never easy to say goodbye, especially as the past six years at Nova have been so rewarding, I know that everything is set for the school to thrive.”

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