Headteacher leaves top job at The Discovery Academy
THE headteacher of a Stoke-on-Trent academy school is leaving his job after just two years.
Rob Ridout's last day at The Discovery Academy will be on October 31. Pupils will then return from their half-term holidays to find an acting principal in charge.
It is believed that he made the decision to stand down for personal reasons.
He was appointed as principal designate in September 2010 and oversaw the development of the academy, which opened the following year.
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The school got off to a controversial start as campaigners had fought to block the merger of Edensor Technology College, in Longton, and Mitchell Business and Enterprise College, in Bucknall.
But Mr Ridout, below, is credited with helping to bring the two school communities together, and the academy's governing body paid tribute to his work.
In a statement, Mr Ridout said: "I have been delighted to be instrumental in the establishment of The Discovery Academy.
"It has been a pleasure to see the positive reaction of students to the changes we have made and to the exciting plans now in place for the future. I would like to thank staff, students and parents for their support and encouragement."
Ian Hamilton, current headteacher of Westwood College, in Leek, will take over as acting principal at the Stoke-on-Trent school next month.
Mr Hamilton said he was "excited" to take up the new challenge.
It comes after Keith Hollins, executive principal of Westwood and three other schools in the Moorlands, began offering support to The Discovery Academy to help raise standards.
Mr Hollins, who was drafted in through his role as a national leader of education, will continue to offer his support to the school.
Governors are expected to appoint a permanent replacement for Mr Ridout in time for September 2013, when the academy moves into its new building in Bentilee.
Sarah Robinson, chairman of governors, said: "We are very pleased with the way Rob has got the new academy off to such a good start. Following the amalgamation of the two predecessor schools, and the formation of the academy in September 2011, we have successfully established the school with its own identity and values."
Ms Robinson said the scene was now set for 'a new chapter in the school's development'.
It is understood Mr Ridout, who previously worked as a head in Herefordshire, had been commuting to North Staffordshire.
Meanwhile, Westwood College has appointed Richard Hey as its acting head.