We can be top of the class

Ponteland High School's new headteacher, Kieran McGrane.
Ponteland High School's new headteacher, Kieran McGrane.

THE new headteacher at Ponteland High School believes it has the potential to be among the cream of the crop when it comes to exam results.

And he is looking to build upon the good work of his predecessors with a few innovations and changes to help students, staff and its communication with parents.

Kieran McGrane was appointed to the role in February and started in September. His previous job was head of Bedlingtonshire High School.

He has heaped high praise on the teachers and students he inherited and is looking forward to his part in furthering their development.

The 44-year-old said: “When I saw it from a distance, I always thought it was a good school but having moved here I’m overjoyed because it is a brilliant place to work and it has great potential to be a leading light in the north of England in terms of exam results, the quality of teaching and other aspects such as sport and music.

“I was really enjoying my job at Bedlington, but this was too good an opportunity to turn down.

“I’m looking forward to introducing a standard of excellence for everything we do, from levels of teaching to cleaning the school. We are a long way towards this, but there are a few things we can introduce to make standards even higher and I’ve told the staff that we can achieve outstanding results to put us among the best performers in the area and country.

“But it’s important to offer pupils a well-rounded education as successful schools also have vibrant music, arts, drama and sports departments.

“The students here produce some excellent work and they are heavily involved in everything we do, including generous contributions to charity appeals.

“We have a number of high-achieving individuals who we support as much as possible and we’re also looking to push on those who are quite able at the moment, but are shy or slip under the radar. We’re introducing a report scheme where they are under the spotlight from their tutors and teachers for a day and receive positive comments when they do well.

“The staff have been very supportive and I’ve been extremely impressed with how they go the extra mile to help their students, such as giving their free time for after school revision sessions or extra-curricular activities.”

Mr McGrane qualified as a teacher from Loughborough University in 1992 and he has also worked at Ashington High School as a PE teacher, head of PE, assistant headteacher and deputy head.

The married father-of-three has set up a family forum to give parents the opportunity to discuss issues with him and other staff.

“At the first meeting, the parents said our website generally didn’t have the information they needed so we immediately took action to address this and the revamped website will be up and running before Christmas,” he said.

Mr McGrane has met the headteachers of the first and middle schools across Ponteland and they have started discussions about how best to move forward as a partnership for the benefit of everyone in the community.