As a former city stockbroker, Nick Froy knows all about risks and gambles, but as the new interim head of Newmarket College settles into his new role he is convinced that he can turn the troubled school into a winner.
Tonight Mr Froy, whose appointment came in the wake of the sudden departure of the troubled school’s former principal, Bob Cadwalladr, will stand before parents and prospective parents and tell them why he believes in the school, its students and the staff’s ability to turn things around.
The former deputy head and the college’s history teacher, is committed to three new, and some would say obvious, priorities, raising attainment, outstanding learning and effective leadership, three things that have been lacking in the past.
“In addition to previously set targets, we believe that we can achieve a further 15 per cent improvement in GCSE results and have published our new target of 60 per of all students achieving five A*-C including English and Maths,” he said.
“In the circumstances it’s a tough task but the simple fact is we have to do better and we think that this is doable and, in order to help our students achieve, we have to improve their learning experience so they make more progress in their lessons. Every single lesson every kid goes to needs to be outstanding. If they are enjoying their lessons, they will want to learn.” Two further interim appointments of two deputy principals, Hazel Simmons with responsibility for learning and Richard Hall for achievement, are part of this process.
The appointment of Paul Reed as the new chairman of governors is expected to be confirmed next month and offering advice and guidance as part of a “strategic role” as the college moves towards academy status next year is executive head, Howard Lay, current head of the ‘outstanding’ rated Samuel Ward Academy in Haverhill.
The school is currently home to just under 800 students, “It should be more,” said Mr Froy. “Too many students are seeking their secondary education outside Newmarket but then the temptation is obvious.
“We all need to be much more challenging of ourselves. We have to focus on delivering results for our kids. For them there is only one chance and for their sake we have to get it right from day one.”