Verwood First and Emmanuel Middle School to share headteacher

Emmanuel Middle School headteacher Rob Christopher will become executive headteacher for both Emmanuel and Verwood First School and Nursery in the next school year.

Other changes include the creation of an official Verwood and Emmanuel Campus, bringing together all services operated by Initio Learning Trust, previously known as the Wimborne Academy Trust.

Initio says there won’t be any major changes, including uniforms and the length of the school day, but will offer “a more seamless education pathway from nursery to Year 8”.

The two schools have always been co-located at a shared campus on Howe Lane, with shared car parking facilities.

Emmanuel joined Initio in 2018 with Verwood First School joining a year later.

Prior to these changes, Verwood First School’s headteacher Adam Parsons left his role after 18 years saying the time is right for the Initio Learning Trust to move the school on in its journey.

Katharine Anstey has been interim headteacher at Verwood First ever since.

Liz West, chief executive officer of Initio Learning Trust, told “This is very much an obvious next step in the development of the schools and nursery.

“Already we have shared curriculum planning and staff training and development.

“And the leadership for Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) is also shared. The length of school day and uniform won’t change so the children will notice little difference.

“But a more coordinated and integrated approach will lead to an overall better educational experience, leading to improved results for children. As a trust our schools already share good practice and resources so this is a natural extension of the existing philosophy.

“Rob Christopher will become executive headteacher at the start of the next school year and until then will work closely with the current interim headteacher, Katharine Anstey.

“What we are creating is a smooth pathway for children in and around Verwood from nursery to the end of middle school.

“And after that pupils can move to Queen Elizabeth School in Wimborne and continue their education within the same family of schools.”

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