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Free school takes a massive step by finding head teacher

By North Devon Journal  |  Posted: October 25, 2012

HEAD GIRL: The head teacher of North Devon's first free school Joss Glossop.

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A MOMENTOUS part of setting up North Devon's first free school has happened now that a head teacher has been appointed to lead the brand new school.

Parent-led group Route 39 was given the green light by the Department of Education earlier this year to set up the school, which is due to open in September next year.

After several applications were received and the people behind Route 39 carried out a series of interviews last week a suitable candidate was chosen on Friday.

Joss Glossop has accepted the position of head teacher and will be taking the role on permanently after Christmas.

Miss Glossop, 44, is currently the deputy principle at South Dartmoor Community College in Ashburton, South Devon, and has been teaching for 20 years.

The mum of four, who currently lives near Bovey Tracey, said: "I think this opportunity would be exciting for anybody.

"The school will be a completely clean slate and a chance to put in place absolute, up to date, current teaching practices.

"One of the things which drew me to the new school was the vision and values of the steering group behind the school. The values really appealed to me because I have been putting in place forward thinking ideas into the community college."

Miss Glossop said she will be moving to North Devon and her two youngest children nine-year-old twins Joe and Abel will be joining the free school in 2014.

She said: "I think something which will be really important at Route 39 is the personalisation for each pupil.

"We want to make sure each pupil is treated as an individual and that involvement with parents is maintained."

The new head teacher was aware that prospective parents could find it hard to choose a school which is so new in being set up.

She said: "Obviously at other schools you can look around the learning environment but the accommodation will be sorted very soon and it is not something I am worried about.

"We will all have a big to-do list but as I have been on a management team for 15 years I have a wealth of experience so it doesn't daunt me."

Christina Woodroffe, former director of learning and teaching at the National Academy for Gifted and Talented Youth, was part of Route 39 Academy's interview panel.

She said: "Joss has the fire, breadth and vision to create a truly outstanding school.

"She wants every child to have the very best educational experience, which is exactly what lies at the heart of Route 39 Academy's vision."

There will be a chance to meet Miss Glossop at meet and greet events on Monday between 2pm and 4pm at Woolsery Village Hall, and 5pm and 7pm at Hartland Church Rooms, and on Tuesday between 10am and 12pm at Atlantic Village's foyer.

For further information e-mail education@route39.org.uk or visit www.route39.org.uk

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