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Seamus Murphy to take over Folkestone Academy as executive principal, as Wesley Carroll steps down

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An experienced headteacher and former Ofsted inspector is due to take the realm of a Kent secondary school.

Principal Wesley Carroll announced today he has decided to step down as leader of the Folkestone Academy, part of the Turner Schools trust.

Wesley Carroll (18496089)
Wesley Carroll (18496089)

He will be replaced by Seamus Murphy, already deputy chief executive at the trust, who will now take up the role of executive principal of the whole school.

The change-over at the Academy Lane school will come into place from January.

Mr Carroll - who will now take the post of vice principal - says his decision to take a step back is based on his desire to spend more time with his young family.

In a letter to parents he said: "I have decided to stand down as principal of the secondary phase of Folkestone Academy from January 2020.

"I am not leaving the academy, but will be remaining as part of the senior leadership team, in the post of vice principal.

"This change will allow me to devote more time to my young family - as many of you may know I have four children - and as my eldest child reaches GCSE age and my youngest is beginning Year 1, and for this next period of time, it is important to me that I can be more available to them."

Seamus Murphy (18496087)
Seamus Murphy (18496087)

Mr Carroll's new role will see him focussing on Year 11 students in their GCSE year.

He added: "I am proud of the work I have put in as principal and the progress that I have seen at the academy.

"My commitment to the children, parents and staff that make up the Folkestone Academy community remains unchanged, and I look forward to continuing to contribute to the Academy in the future."

Folkestone Academy currently educates 1,849 pupils from nursery years to sixth form.

New leader Mr Murphy says he is excited to start in his new position.

He was previously headteacher of Dartford Science and Technology College, which he led from 'special measures' to Ofsted 'good' in 13 months.

In addition he was executive head of Community College Whitstable and of Sittingbourne Community College, and worked with Meopham school through its a recent outstanding inspection.

He has also worked as an Ofsted inspector.

Of his new role, he said: "I am looking forward to taking up this role at Folkestone Academy and working more closely with the staff and pupils there.

"I have seen first hand the improvements taking place at the school and am excited to continue building on these.

"Wesley has been central to the good work I have seen at Folkestone Academy.

"He will remain an integral part of the senior leadership team at the school and I look forward to working with him on a daily basis."

The two educators have also released a video explaining the changes to parents and pupils, and posted it to social media.

Turner Schools looks after four schools in Folkestone; Martello Primary, Folkestone Academy, Morehall Primary and Turner Free Schools.

Jo Saxton, chief executive at Turner Schools, said: "Seamus and Wesley are both vital to our mission to deliver a powerful, non-selective education for local families.

"I am proud of the work that we have accomplished to date at Folkestone Academy and I have every confidence the school will go from strength to strength under Seamus’ leadership."

Read more: All the latest news from Folkestone

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