For one local comprehensive school, the new year started with a new leader and an ambitious aspiration to make it world class.
That may sound like just another new year resolution but for Gene Payne, the new headteacher of the Causeway School in Larkspur Drive, it is seen as an achievable aim.
Mr Payne was appointed to lead the Causeway School following national interviews held last October and took up his post there at the beginning of this month.
He is a very experienced educationalist, with a track record of helping to lead outstanding schools and academies. He has also worked as a special adviser to the government on its strategy to improve schools, as an assistant director of the National College for School Leadership, as a senior associate with the Department for Education’s Schools Innovation Unit and as a senior consultant helping to shape the strategic direction of the Harris Federation of 13 academies.
He was also a director of his own education consultancy company which worked with the government and others to help schools to become outstanding.
On taking up his post at the Causeway, Mr Payne said, “I am delighted to be invited to lead a school with such potential.
“I have been so impressed with students and staff here and with all that has been achieved in recent years. Over the past 25 years, I have been fortunate to work in some of the most exciting, forward thinking, ambitious and outstanding education contexts in England.
“I am keen now to be at the Causeway to build, and lead, over coming years, a nationally renowned, world-class school at the centre of its community.”
Mr Boatwright, Causeway’s executive headteacher, said, “In Gene Payne we have an outstanding leader who, I am confident, will attain his goal of creating at Causeway an outstanding, world-class school.”
The school recently received a Good report from Ofsted after improvements were made.