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New head appointed at Thatcham's Kennet School

“Mrs Piper has pupils and parents at the centre of her vision and will empower all to succeed”

New head appointed at Thatcham's Kennet School

KENNET School has announced its new headteacher to build on the success of its retired superhead Paul Dick.

Former deputy headteacher Gemma Piper is to take the reins of the Ofsted-rated outstanding school after impressing academy trust directors. 

Mrs Piper, who was serving as interim executive head since Mr Dick retired in December, said: “I am very honoured to be leading Kennet School and the trust, and, whilst we are in a very strong position, there is much scope for development in the next exciting phase.

“This includes working both individually and as a family of schools who share the same vision of providing the very best life chances for the young people in our local area from age two to 18, the challenge for which we are stronger together.”

Mrs Piper has been at Kennet for three years, serving as raising standards leader and one of three deputy heads.

Mr Dick retired as headteacher in December, ending his 29-year stewardship of Kennet. 

He transformed Kennet from one of the worst-performing schools in the area to being in the top 20 per cent for attainment and 10 per cent for progress nationally in 2016.

Chair of directors of the Kennet School Academies Trust Sandra Nicholls said: “This is the start of a new and energising phase in the remarkable history of Kennet School. 

“Mr Paul Dick guided Kennet School for almost 30 years, enabling it to become the outstanding academy trust that it is today.

“Some thought that it might not be possible to replace such a brilliant leader, but the directors are confident that they have found someone who can build on his success.

“Mrs Piper has pupils and parents at the centre of her vision and will empower all to succeed.”

Mr Dick is working behind the scenes as an advisor and assisting with a smooth transition under the new leadership.

Mrs Nicholls said: “We are fortunate to have Mr Dick still on board, working in the background for the trust and also with the local primary schools.

“The Kennet School Academies Trust, which includes Whitelands Park School in its family, is very much a part of the local community and we visualise a bright future for all the pupils whilst reassuring parents that the education of their children is in safe hands.

“Exciting times lie ahead for the directors, executive head, teachers and, most importantly, the young people of Thatcham.

“We welcome Mrs Piper.”

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