New headteacher takes over at controversial Sunderland free school

Trevor Swann, the new interim principal at Grindon Hall Christian School.

Trevor Swann, the new interim principal at Grindon Hall Christian School.

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A new leader has taken over at the helm of Sunderland’s only free school.

Trevor Swann is the new interim principal at Grindon Hall Christian School following the resignation of former headteacher, Chris Gray.

Grindon Hall Christian School was thrown into controversy late last year when it was placed in special measures by Ofsted chiefs, who said it needed to urgently improve.

However, after a recent monitoring visit, inspectors said the school is now taking effective action towards the removal of special measures.

Mr Swann has joined the Nookside school as interim principal until the end of the academic year as part of the next phase of the school’s development.

He has worked as a headteacher in North Tyneside, an Ofsted inspector and also a specialist education adviser with the Department for Education.

With the Bright Tribe Academy Trust currently working with the DfE on sponsorship arrangements at the school, Mr Swann has been appointed to help drive improvements and to shape the future of the school.

He said: “Since I started at the school I have been impressed with the ways in which staff are working very hard to help raise the standards for our children and young people.

“Similarly, our pupils demonstrate a very good work ethic and passion for the school.

“My job is to work closely with the staff and pupils and to bring out the best in them.

“We are working on plans for growth and a strategic direction that will strengthen our reputation for academic excellence and high personal standards, enhanced by our Christian ethos.”