Free school principal: ‘right time for new challenge’

Guy Martyn is leaving for a new job as principal of an independent school in Essex from next term
Guy Martyn is leaving for a new job as principal of an independent school in Essex from next term

Guy Martyn has spoken about the ‘exhilarating journey’ that has been creating Chichester Free School but says now is the ‘right time’ for him to leave his position as principal.

Mr Martyn, who has held the post since the school began in 2013, announced on Monday that he will be taking up a new position as principal of an independent school in Essex from January next year.

Mr Martyn said: “I have enormously enjoyed my time as founding principal of Chichester Free School.

“We have achieved extraordinary things since we started with no premises and no staff, but crucially a strong vision everyone believed in.

“It’s been an exhilarating journey for all of us who have been pioneers in creating this new school for Chichester.

“I will leave the school in a very strong place, with great results at GCSE this summer and also in primary, and the promised convent site finally due for completion next year.”

Jenny Clough, one of the school’s founders who has been executive head at a school in Buckinghamshire, has been named the school’s new interim head.

Mr Martyn added: “After what will be five years as principal, although I will be sad to leave such a great staff team, such wonderful pupils and parents who took the plunge and stuck with us as a brand new school, now is the right time for me to accept a new challenge and for the school to benefit from the different energy a new principal will undoubtedly bring.”

Once settled in the school’s state-of-the-art new site at the former Carmelite Convent in Hunston, expected to be September 2018, the Board of Governors will undertake a thorough and exacting process to find a permanent principal to lead Chichester Free School into the future, the school said.

Stephen King, Chair of Governors, said: “Having successfully steered the school through our first Ofsted inspection, our first SATS and, of course, the tremendous success in our first GCSEs, we owe Mr Martyn a huge debt of gratitude.

“We are keen to welcome, Jenny Clough, one of the school’s founders, a trustee and a great ally to become our new interim head.

“Until recently, Mrs Clough, has been executive head of Akeley Wood School in Buckinghamshire and has now returned to the area and agreed to take on the role.

“Jenny has over 20 years’ experience in educational senior leadership, both in the state and independent sectors and shares our vision, ethos and values for CFS.

“We have agreed that our current principal and interim will work closely this coming term to ensure a smooth hand-over at Christmas.”

The school pupils are currently being taught at a temporary site in the Vinnetrow Business Park and the former Bartons County Infant School in North Bersted.

Free Schools are all inclusive and state-funded, set up in response to demand from local communities by exisiting teachers and parents within an area and branded as ‘the schools of the future’.

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