Bury St Edmunds school appoints new permanent headteacher

Tollgate Primary School: new headteacher Alison Earl with deputy head Georgie Bateman
Tollgate Primary School: new headteacher Alison Earl with deputy head Georgie Bateman
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A new permanent head has taken the reins at a Bury St Edmunds school which has seen major changes after being in special measures.

Alison Earl has served as Tollgate Primary’s executive head since March to help bring ‘rapid improvements’ and has now been appointed permanent headteacher.

She recently oversaw the school’s move to academy status which allowed it to join the town’s all-through Academy Trust.

The move follows the departure of Tollgate head David Hicks and sees her leave her role as head at the ‘outstanding’ rated Barrow Primary, which is also part of the trust and now led by acting head Helen Ashe.

Mrs Earl said: “I’ve loved my time at Barrow so I’m pleased that the two schools will be working closely together in the all-through trust. I firmly believe that there is a moral purpose in helping every child to achieve their potential. I look forward to a partnership with the local community to lead the school so that it becomes a flagship for outstanding teaching and learning.”

She is joined by new deputy head Georgie Bateman, who comes from Westley Middle School, and three new class teachers. Tollgate was taken out of special measures when it became an academy on July 1 and Mrs Earl said they expected an inspection by Ofsted in spring or summer.

John George, chairman of governors, added: “Securing outstanding leadership is another step towards the goal of achieving higher standards and increasing pupil progress. Since we’ve been working with the all-through trust we’ve already made many significant changes.”