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Tina Bissett to leave The Holmesdale School in Snodland, replaced by former The North School, Ashford head amid Swale Academies Trust takeover

By Luke May

A head teacher is set to leave her post months after her school was plunged into special measures.

Tina Bissett will leave The Holmesdale School next Wednesday, with a new headteacher coming in from the Swale Academies Trust next term.

In March the school on Malling Road was rated inadequate by Ofsted.

Tina Bissett will leave The Holmesdale School on December 19
Tina Bissett will leave The Holmesdale School on December 19

Inspectors had warned some pupils were put at risk, as the secondary school's designated safeguarding staff had been too slow to report concerns.

Following the report, the school was placed in special measures, while Mrs Bissett asked parents to put their trust in the school "so we can move forward together".

Since then three deputy heads have stepped down, with Mrs Bissett becoming the fourth member of the senior leadership team to quit their role.

The Holmesdale School
The Holmesdale School

In September Ofsted warned progress to improve the school "has been too slow," after a follow-up inspection in July.

Despite raising safeguarding concerns in its March report, inspectors found staff such as dinner ladies had not received compulsory training on protecting children - something that has since been rectified.

Nigel Smetham, chair of the school's governors, wrote to parents today with news of Mrs Bissett's departure.

The Holmesdale School off Malling Road. (4533376)
The Holmesdale School off Malling Road. (4533376)

He wrote: "Now that The Holmesdale School is working with Swale Academies Trust, Mrs Bissett feels this is the right time for her to handover to a new headteacher who can continue the work to bring the improvements at the school and to deliver high standards of education, which the young people and parents expect."

Nicki Hodges, who previously helped guide The North School in Ashford out of special measures, will takeover as head on January 1.

Formerly the headteacher at the now closed Oasis Academy Hextable, Mrs Bissett joined The Holmesdale School in 2016 as deputy headteacher.

By January 2017 she was promoted to headteacher.

Mr Smetham thanked Mrs Bissett for leading the school through what he called "a difficult period over the last two years".

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