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Bishop of Rochester head steps down

Christopher Sweetman
Christopher Sweetman

The head teacher at the troubled Bishop of Rochester Academy has quit.

Christopher Sweetman was suspended in April following a string of problems at the Chatham school, which opened only eight months ago. He has now decided to step down from his role as principal.

A letter was sent to all pupils’ parents yesterday and today the academy’s three sponsors, Rochester Diocesan Board of Education, Canterbury Christ Church University and Medway Council, have released a statement.

It reads: "After 21 years working to help young people be the best they can be, Christopher Sweetman has decided to step down from his role as principal of the Bishop of Rochester Academy to pursue his professional mission in a different context.

"He intends to spend time working with ICT companies researching the effective use of technology in school management.

"Christopher is very grateful for the support he has received from sponsors, governors, staff and many others in the local community. He has great hopes for the future of the Bishop of Rochester Academy and will continue to pray for all concerned."

Mr Sweetman moved to Medway from Derby with his wife and children to take up the role at the academy, which was formed following the merger of Chatham South School and Medway Community College.

Dr Peter Clough, chairman of the board of governors, said: "The sponsors and governors would like to express their gratitude to Christopher for the work he has done in setting up the academy and wish Christopher and his family every success in the future.

"I can confirm that parents were notified of Christopher’s decision by letter yesterday."

Andy Reese
Andy Reese

The academy remains under the leadership of interim executive principal Andy Reese, who is head teacher at Greenacre School in Walderslade.

Mr Reese, pictured left, was appointed at the end of April and he has already introduced some immediate changes at the school.

The sponsors and governors have begun their search for a new permanent principal.

For exclusive details of how much money Christopher Sweetman will walk away with, see this Friday’s Medway Messenger.

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