Angela Watts, Chris Hatherall, Tom Middlehurst and Bill Watkin

Angela Watts, Chris Hatherall, Tom Middlehurst and Bill Watkin

Angela Watts, deputy headteacher of King’s Oak Primary School in Bedford, is the new principal of Ruskin academy in Wellingborough. She will take up her new post in September.

She says she wants to focus on “getting the teaching and learning right while making sure the curriculum is as exciting and as innovative as it can be.

“I will be looking to get into the classroom to act as a role model for the teachers so that we can plan together and show what I want to happen, rather than just sitting and having a chat.”

Watts says she also wants to ensure there are “real-life hands-on experiences” throughout school for the children to then write and talk about.

Watts, who spent some time as an entertainer in Cyprus following her theatre studies and dance degree at De Montfort University in Bedford, has been a teacher for the past ten years.

Chris Hatherall has taken the reins at the Vision studio school from interim principal Heather Scott.

Hatherall, who joins after four years as principal of Wigan university technical college, says the Mansfield school will become “a centre of excellence” in preparing young people for the world of work.

Vision opened in September 2014 as an alternative to mainstream education for 14 to 19-year-olds.

It allows students to specialise in either engineering or health and social care, alongside core GCSEs, through project-based classroom learning and work placements

“The school addresses the mismatch in expectations between employers and school-leavers by ensuring students gain the qualifications, work experience and ‘softer skills’ that organisations demand,” he says.

“I’m especially excited by the specialisms in engineering and health and social care. Tens of thousands of vacancies will need filling in these sectors over the next ten years across the UK – and the school is well-placed to play its part by supplying highly trained workers.”

Since qualifying as a teacher in 1997, Hatherall has held a number of posts including head of technology at Whalley Range high school and vice-principal at Wellacre technology college, both in Manchester.

Tom Middlehurst has moved from head of research to head of policy and public affairs at the Schools, Students and Teachers network (SSAT) where he will take a more “proactive” role in interpreting government policy for network member schools.

He also hopes to work with other government departments and education organisations “to try to influence policy based on what our members are telling us.

“What we are hearing at the moment are key concerns clearly around the implications of the white paper. My priority will be to work with our members to guide them through that and look at what other schools are doing to address those challenges.”

After studying English at the University of Oxford, Middlehurst taught at The Basildon Academies, Essex, before joining SSAT in 2012.

Meanwhile, Bill Watkin is leaving the network to become chief executive of the Sixth Form Colleges Association.

The former operational director has worked at the SSAT since 2006, leading its work on the academies programme, developing policy and supporting academy leaders, governors, sponsors, and operators.