On the move

28th August 2009 at 01:00

John Collings has become the executive director of children's services for Newcastle upon Tyne. Mr Collings was previously director for delivering outcomes. Before this, he was deputy director of children's services in Hartlepool. He has taken over from Catherine Fitt, who was acting executive director. Ms Fitt is joining the National College for School Leadership to lead the implementation of the children's services leadership development programme.

Ray Priest is to retire as head of the City Academy Bristol next summer. Dr Priest is the city's longest-serving headteacher, having held the post at the school for 18 years. Dr Priest trained at St Paul's College, Cheltenham, and Bristol University before starting a career in teaching in London. His first head post was at St George School in Bristol. Dr Priest is a member of the Department for Children, Schools and Families headteacher advisory group and the Youth Sport Trust 2012 headteacher advisory group. In 2005, he was asked to join other educationists to work on the Steer report, advising on behaviour and discipline in schools. A successor will be appointed in the forthcoming year.

Ivana LaValle is to become the new director of research, evidence and evaluation at the National Children's Bureau. Ms LaValle is currently co-director of the families and children research group for the National Centre for Social Research and has worked at the organisation since 1998. She will be taking over the role from Jane Lewis, who is to become director for Research in Practice, a department of Dartington Hall Trust. Ms LaValle will join the NCB on November 2.

Nicole Joussot, a lecturer from East Berkshire College, has returned from a second three-month visit to Rwanda, where she has been training headteachers through the charity Voluntary Service Overseas. Ms Joussot is a senior lecturer in teacher training, based at the Windsor campus. In Rwanda she worked with teachers who have to cope with no electricity, plumbing or sealed roads. She is now raising money to buy a solar panel so that students will have light for doing homework at night.

James Murphy-O'Connor is to take over as head of Prior Park College, Bath. The Oxford graduate's last position was as headteacher of Sherfield School, a co-educational independent day school he set up from scratch. Before that, Mr Murphy-O'Connor was a housemaster at Sherborne School in Dorset.

Jane Hughes has retired from St John's School in Midsomer Norton, Somerset, after 30 years. She was a pupil at the school before returning as a teacher. She taught Year 5 and was the school's music co-ordinator. Mrs Hughes has left along with her colleague Melanie Miller, who had worked at the school for 17 years. Mrs Miller taught Year 4 and was history co-ordinator. She also ran the after-school knitting club.


Retired Bolton teacher Bill Rogers has just published his first novel, 'The Cleansing', a tale about a killer who stalks the streets of London dressed as a clown.

Mr Rogers taught English and history in the North West for 25 years, followed by a stint as a principal inspector, so it is just possible that some of the characters in his novel may have a ring of familiarity about them.

But let's hope not - for the sake of Manchester's teaching community.

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