BLACK Cats fan Ken Gibson is looking forward to his challenging new role as head of a Sunderland academy.
Mr Gibson will officially take up his post as headteacher at Academy 360 in September.
The Pennywell all-age academy has had a turbulent year after the resignation of the previous head, Paul Prest, and being issued with a notice to improve from Ofsted inspectors.
However, staff and students are hoping the multimillion-pound school’s problems are now behind them and are looking forward to the future.
Mr Gibson, 54, said: “We have now had the notice to improve removed and been graded as satisfactory overall, which is really good for us. This gives us a good platform to build on.”
The headteacher, who is also executive headteacher at Harton Technology College in South Tyneside, graded as outstanding by Ofsted, said the primary section of Academy 360 is operating very well.
His initial focus is now on improving overall standards in the secondary departments, as well as building on the success in primary.
The Sunderland AFC season ticket holder, who is a National Leader of Education, said although he will retain links with Harton College and Jarrow School, where he is also an executive head, he will be based at the Wearside academy.
He said with Harton being a teaching college, they have a number of teachers who are Specialist Leaders of Education, who can share best practice with Academy 360.
Mr Gibson, who is married with four children and a grandchild, said: “I’m looking forward to meeting all the children and the parents. Everyone I have met so far has been friendly and receptive.
“Giving kids a better start in life is what motivates me. I want to make Academy 360 an even better place to learn and an even better place to work.”
The headteacher, who in his college days spent his summers as a lifeguard on Roker beach, said: “I’m really looking forward to being in Sunderland.”
Top Sats results:
ACADEMY 360 is celebrating a fantastic set of Sats results for Key Stage 2 pupils.
The 11-year-olds at the Pennywell school have hit the national targets for attainment and beaten the national targets for progress.
Keeley Wood, deputy headteacher at the academy, said 85 per cent of youngsters gained a level four or more for reading and 84 per cent gained the same target grade for maths.
She said 95 per cent of the children achieved the two levels progress target from Key Stage 1 to 2.
Mrs Wood said: “We are absolutely delighted, these are outstanding achievements. It has been a whole team effort from the children, parents and staff who have all worked really hard and they deserve this success.
“These children have a really good attitude to learning.”