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Ashford: Norton Knatchbull head teacher Susanne Staab to leave school at Christmas

By Charlie Harman

The head teacher of a boys' grammar is to leave her post before the end of the school year, it has been announced.

In an email sent to parents, the Norton Knatchbull School in Ashford revealed head teacher Susanne Staab will be leaving the Hythe Road site at Christmas.

She has been in the role for eight years.

Ms Susanne Staab is leaving after eight years in charge of Norton Knatchbull School
Ms Susanne Staab is leaving after eight years in charge of Norton Knatchbull School

Chairman of governors David Race said: "We regret to announce that Ms Staab has decided to leave us at Christmas.

"During her eight years as head teacher, she has led the school with great passion, vision and ambition.

"As a result, we have seen a number of successful Ofsted inspections testifying to the extensive work that has been done in teaching and learning, pastoral care, and academic and wider provision.

"Under her leadership, the school has also seen a transformation of its facilities and a growing student population, expanding from five forms to seven forms of entry.

"The school owes Ms Staab a great debt and we all wish her the very best for the future.

"The governors are now working with Ms Staab to effect a smooth transition in the leadership of the school and will advertise the position shortly."

Head of the Board of Governors David Race joined head teacher Susanne Staab at the project's public consultation last month
Head of the Board of Governors David Race joined head teacher Susanne Staab at the project's public consultation last month
Funding for the upcoming £2 million Digital Learning Centre, which Ms Staab has championed, has already been secured
Funding for the upcoming £2 million Digital Learning Centre, which Ms Staab has championed, has already been secured

Plans for the demolition of the school's existing art block, to be replaced with a digital learning centre, were unveiled last month.

Speaking at a public consultation about the proposal, Ms Staab said: "The basic face of the school needs improving and we want to make our classrooms as modern and digitally relevant as possible.

"Visitors realise that some of the buildings are too old to be left untouched, and that we need to modernise the school and its architectural language for the 21st century."

Kent County Council has already agreed a £2 million investment for the digital learning centre, which Ms Staab sees as a "vote of confidence from the KCC in our ability".

From Left: Damian Green MP, head teacher Susanne Staab and former Mayor of Ashford, Cllr Winston Michael, officially opened renovated school buildings last year.
From Left: Damian Green MP, head teacher Susanne Staab and former Mayor of Ashford, Cllr Winston Michael, officially opened renovated school buildings last year.

Ms Staab said of her leaving: "After eight successful and rewarding years at the school I have decided that the time is right for me to take on a new challenge.

"Leading a school is a huge privilege and pleasure. The multiple tasks it presents can only be tackled by tremendous team work and I have been very fortunate to have worked with wonderful students, great colleagues and supportive governors.

"I am extremely proud of what we have achieved together and know that the school will continue to go from strength to strength. I will miss all of you and wish you all the best."

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