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New headteacher aims to raise school's profile and create community links

PUBLISHED: 15:21 18 July 2018 | UPDATED: 13:43 19 July 2018

New Beccles Free School headteacher David Lees. Picture: Mike Kwasniak.

New Beccles Free School headteacher David Lees. Picture: Mike Kwasniak.

www.mikekwasniak.co.uk

A Beccles school has entered its next chapter with the appointment of a new headteacher.

New Beccles Free School headteacher David Lees with pupils. Picture: Mike Kwasniak.New Beccles Free School headteacher David Lees with pupils. Picture: Mike Kwasniak.

David Lees has taken over the role at Beccles Free School, and is now leader of two schools in the Seckford Foundation Free Schools Trust.

Mr Lees started out as a PE teacher at the formerly named Denes High School in Lowestoft in 1996, before becoming the school’s deputy head. And in 2012, with the restructuring, he spent a year at the former Harris Middle School in Lowestoft as acting headteacher.

In October 2013 he became head of Saxmundham Free School and in Easter this year was appointed leader at Beccles.

Mr Lees said the aim was to provide consistent leadership across the trust and raise the profile of the schools.

New Beccles Free School headteacher David Lees with pupils. Picture: Mike Kwasniak.New Beccles Free School headteacher David Lees with pupils. Picture: Mike Kwasniak.

“We want to celebrate that we are different and we do have something very different to offer,” he said. “We are always going to be small, we are also very traditional - every student does a modern foreign language and students get the opportunity to do geography, history or both, all the sciences and all the creative options. We also do a lot around enrichment on a Wednesday afternoon, and that helps to develop skills such as problem solving, communication and the ability to work as a team or individual.

“We set really high targets for pupils so it’s about ensuring that when they leave here they have absolutely done the best they can.”

Mr Lees said his role is about taking the good things the school already does and making them better, as well as re-establishing links with the community and primary schools.

“We have been set up to give parents in Beccles, Bungay and the surrounding areas another choice of high school,” he said. “So if they want a school that offers strong pastoral care and academic excellence then come and have a look.”

New Beccles Free School headteacher David Lees. Picture: Mike Kwasniak.New Beccles Free School headteacher David Lees. Picture: Mike Kwasniak.

Mr Lees said both Beccles and Saxmundham have recently been visited by Ofsted, and he was delighted with the reports.

“What is really pleasing is that there was a lot of concern about the schools and both have now come through two good Ofsted reports,” he said.

Mr Lees is splitting his time between both schools, and two new assistant headteachers have been appointed to work alongside him from September.

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