Northern Education Trust

Working to fulfil the potential of young people

New Year, New Head, at Gateshead?s Latest Academy

24th Jan 2014

New Year, New Head, at Gateshead?s Latest Academy

The arrival of a new headteacher at Thomas Hepburn Academy in Gateshead marks the start of a new, exciting chapter in the development of the school, which only recently converted to an academy in October 2013.

Lesley Craig took up her post at the start of January and is already bringing a fresh and exciting approach to the curriculum with her passion for drama and the arts.

With a teaching career spanning 36 years, Lesley originally trained as a PE teacher and since then her career progression has seen her working for a private sector school in Spain, for the British Council, as head of special needs at a school in north London for ten years, as a deputy head in a challenging school in east Leeds and this latest position, makes it her third headship in the region.

Commenting on her new role, she said:? ?I am so proud to be here and feel very privileged to be appointed to such a wonderful school with great students and staff.? This is a fabulous building and we have all the fundamentals in place to make Thomas Hepburn an outstanding academy.? We just need to build on the positive things happening already and combine this with a dedication to hard work.

?I have some exciting plans which I will be announcing soon, which will see us engaging more with the community and extending our out of hours activities, but in the meantime, we will be continuing to work closely with our sponsor, Northern Education Trust, to improve our Ofsted rating - then we can start to climb higher and our students can show their true potential.?

Thomas Hepburn converted to academy status under the sponsorship of the Northern Education Trust after an Ofsted inspection in November 2012 when it had been judged to have serious weaknesses. ??Northern Education Trust works with schools only by invitation and worked closely with the local authority to ensure the future success of the school, developing a clear strategy for improving standards in teaching and learning.

The most recent Ofsted visit in June last year, judged that the school is now making reasonable progress towards the removal of the serious weaknesses designation.

Roger Alston, chief executive of Northern Education Trust, said:? ?We are delighted to welcome Lesley to the team.? She is highly dedicated and passionate about giving students the education they deserve and we are very fortunate that she has decided to join us.? We are confident we will soon be seeing a very much improved picture at Thomas Hepburn Academy.?