Nikki Gibb, Stephen Gabriel and Jon Valentine

Nikki Gibb, the current head of academy at Grangefield Academy in Cleveland, will take over as the school’s principal from April 11.

Ms Gibb says it will be a “double whammy” as it marks her first day as head as well as the date the school moves into its new building.

She says she is determined to ensure a “smooth transition” into the new building over the next few weeks, but then will be focus on gaining a “good” Ofsted rating.

“The inspectorate is due any minute, so we want to get a good judgment and move out of special measures, our last rating.”

Post Ofsted, Ms Gibb says she raise aspirations in staff, pupils and parents “so that there are no fears as to what the pupils can achieve.

“Two or three years ago if we asked the year 11s what they wanted to do after they left school they had no idea. We want to get them setting goals early.”

Ms Gibb studied sport and exercise science at Teeside University but says: “I was never good enough to be anything professionally so I thought the next best thing was to teach sport. I wanted to nurture and get somebody to be the next best thing.”

Stephen Gabriel has been announced as successor to retiring headteacher John McNerney at St Peter’s Roman Catholic High School in Manchester.

The current deputy, he has been at the school for six years and will take the reins in September.

Mr Gabriel says his key goal in his new post will be to “navigate through all the current changes in education to ensure
that the pupils get the best possible grades so that they can progress to college and university”.

Teaching must be outstanding to “make sure that we support students in what is going to be a more stressful and challenging exams-based system”.

He says that because the school has a high number of “vulnerable” students, he will focus on pastoral care as well as working “effectively with the pupils’ parents”.

Mr Gabriel studied psychology and did a masters at the University of Birmingham. He then completed his PGCE at the University of Cambridge.

Jon Valentine, the founder of education software developer Impero Solutions, will step down in late spring from the business he established 14 years ago.

The current chief executive designed and launched “Education Pro” software in 2002, which allows teachers to view what students are doing on their computers in real-time and alerts them to potential inappropriate behaviour.

Impero now operates classroom and network management in more than 80 countries.

Having recently opened its first US office and introduced Connection Capital investors to take on the business in 2015, Mr Valentine says this is a natural time for him to step back.

“Impero has developed into a fantastic business with some amazing people. I am very proud of what we have achieved.

“For me, however, there are many new challenges I would like to tackle and other potential opportunities.

“After some time out, I hope to help entrepreneurs throughout the East Midlands as well as contribute to further innovation by developing better solutions for the education sector and possibly other markets.”

Mr Valentine was recently named by the Institute of Directors as the East Midlands Young Director of the Year 2015.


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