Jonathan Morris, Greg Bowkett and Ellie Newbery

Jonathan Morris, former head of neighbouring Marden High School,  has joined Thorp Academy in Tyne and Wear as executive principal.

Among a number of “big changes” at Thorp, Mr Morris plans on first seeing through a building programme that will “entirely transform” the school, and which is due to end in September next year.

“We have a job to do when it comes to building community confidence, which I think the new building will help with.

“It is all about teaching. It is what happens in the lessons that is the crucial thing for me. We have a really strong team of teachers here and it is all about developing their skills and helping them to realise their potential.”

During his 30-year career in the north east, Mr Morris, 60, spent five years as an inspector adviser for South Tyneside education authority.

He studied English and history at the University of Northumbria where he subsequently completed his teacher training.

Greg Bowkett has been appointed as the workforce strategy manager with Academy Transformation Trust (ATT).

His background has primarily been in HR including for organisations such as Serco, the Valuation Office Agency and the Department for Work and Pensions.

He is now responsible for developing the trust’s workforce strategy where he will develop relationships with its academies to “maximise the effectiveness of our recruitment efforts as well as exploring options to increase entry routes to the trust”.

He said: “Essentially my role is getting the right people in the right place at the right time.

“Long term I’ll be looking at where our workforce is going. That might be having a specialised programme for early talent, and looking at the current staff we have with ways that we can help them to develop and meet the needs of the business.”

Mr Bowkett, 26, completed a degree in management at the University of Warwick.

Ellie Newbery has been deployed to six schools in Sussex, Berkshire and Hampshire as an alumni officer for Future First.

The role is aimed to harness the talents of schools’ former students to “inspire the current generation to career confidence and academic success”.

Ms Newbery will develop their alumni networks and work with teachers and careers staff to deliver a “bespoke package” of support to current students through assemblies and workshops, work experience placements and by providing real life examples of the working world.

Ms Newbery, 23, who studied education at the University of Sheffield, said: “We’ve chosen the six schools specifically because we feel the students will really benefit from having access to relatable role models.

“Essentially, I am helping the staff to reach out to ex-pupils. There are some people heading up some quite exciting careers . . . I am helping to reconnect them and bring them in to help with workshops to inspire young people, telling them that no job is out of reach. So I’ll be organising quite a lot of mentoring.”

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