THE headteacher of Headlands School Scott Ratherham has spoken of his mixed emotions at leaving behind the school he has led out of special measures.
Headlands was surrounded in controversy, including sex scandals and a damning Ofsted report, when Mr Ratherham was appointed as head teacher five years ago.
Now, he is to become the new principal of Cottingham High School, which experienced its own fair share of controversy when its head, Elizabeth Logan, was suspended earlier last year.
Following a six-month suspension Mrs Logan resigned for “personal and professional reasons”.
Mr Ratherham told the Free Press that he is looking forward to the challenge of his new role but he will be sad to leave behind the staff and pupils he has got to know at Headlands.
“I have mixed emotions really. I’m going to really miss the students and staff, there are some fantastic kids at the school and I have been here for five years so I’ve got a strong attachment to the place,” Mr Ratherham said.
“It’s a new challenge but I’ve been here five years and I have done five years at all my previous schools, it just gets to that time when it’s time to go and try something new,” he added.
Mr Ratherham will be leaving Headlands safe in the knowledge that the school has made significant progress over the past five years.
The school, which has around 1,400 pupils, was placed in special measures in early 2008 for failing to give students an acceptable standard of education.
From 2000, the school’s reputation was marred by five sex scandals involving teacher and pupil relationships, all of which attracted national press attention.
But its latest Ofsted inspection carried out in October 2011 ruled the school as satisfactory overall, with the school’s capacity for sustained improvement being judged as good.
And last August the school celebrated a record breaking set of GCSE exam results, with Mr Ratherham declaring Headlands to be “one of the most rapidly improving schools in the East Riding.”
Mr Ratherham said: “The main achievement for me is being able, partly helped by the Free Press, to read positive things in the press about Headlands School for the past couple of years.
“The pupils are now proud about coming to the place and that’s down to the students and staff.”
But he insisted there is always some way to go in terms of improvement.
“The students and staff can be very proud about how far the school has come and there’s a long way to go as well,” he added.
In a letter sent home to parents, the chair of governors, Ken Johnston spoke of their sadness at losing Mr Ratherham but paid tribute to the foundations that have been laid for the school’s future.
He said: “We will be sad to lose Scott.
“During his time here the school has made enormous progress and firm foundations have been laid for further improvement.”
Mr Johnston added: “The governors are starting the recruitment process for a new Headteacher to continue leading the developments that have taken place over the previous few years.”
The recruitment process is expected to start within the next four weeks, with Mr Ratherham due to leave the school this summer.