Mr Howdle, 53, began work at Sebright primary two weeks ago. He was previously head at Brunel school, Cornwall, where Ofsted praised his "clear vision".
He said: "I was looking for an exciting challenge. The Learning Trust seemed like an exciting way forward and I have a great deal of respect for its chairman Mike Tomlinson."
Mr Howdle and his wife Sue, a nurse, moved to east London, where they are renting a flat, on December 30.
Sebright moved from serious weaknesses into special measures in September 2003, a change which Mr Howdle said has made it even harder to attract staff.
He said: "We want people to think about the school's positive points. The children are a delight - they are eager to learn and well behaved. The school has already received a letter from education minister David Miliband congratulating us on being one of the 100 most improved schools in the country, so things are already getting better."