Littlehampton Academy principal resigns

Marianne Gentilli.  Photo provided by Liquid PR. SUS-140503-085711001
Marianne Gentilli. Photo provided by Liquid PR. SUS-140503-085711001

The principal of The Littlehampton Academy has resigned.

Marianne Gentilli stepped down from her post days after the Woodard Academies Trust pledged “rapid and effective improvement” at the academy.

The Trust had been issued with a warning notice from the Department for Education about the “unacceptably low” performance of the academy.

Vice-principal Morgan Thomas has been appointed acting principal, while Paul Kennedy, who was recently appointed chief education officer of Woodard Academies Trust, has been appointed executive principal.

He will work at the academy two days a week.

Christopher Honeyman Brown, chairman of the academy council, said the changes “will ensure that improvement and progress are maintained and continue at a pace”.

Ms Gentilli was appointed as acting principal at the start of 2014 after her predecessor, Steve Jewell, resigned on December 31 2013. Her position was made permanent in May 2014.

A spokesman for the Woodard Academies Trust said Ms Gentilli would be pursuing a career in education consultancy, having run her own consultancy prior to taking up her post in Littlehampton.

Commenting on her departure, Ms Gentilli said: “After careful consideration I have decided to pursue my consultancy career. I have thoroughly enjoyed working with students, staff, parents and the local community over the last two years and thank them for their support.

“I am pleased that the building blocks for success are now in place and I am grateful for Woodard Academies Trust for releasing me at this time”

Mr Honeyman Brown said: “It is not unusual for staff changes to take place at the end of the autumn term and I am pleased that it has been possible to make robust arrangements to ensure continuity and accelerate the programme of improvement started by Marianne.”

He added: “In September a new academy council was formed and we are already seeing the results of a new focus on priorities and direction.

“As sponsor, the Woodard Corporation has pledged additional resources for us and we’re sharing knowledge, expertise and resources across the Woodard Academies Trust family to progress improvement.

“The academy council and Woodard Academies Trust strongly believe that all our students have the right to and deserve the best education and we’re committed to providing that.

“We would all like to thank Marianne for her leadership, energy and for driving forward much needed change in the Academy. We wish Marianne well in her future career.”

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