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Two new primary school headteachers start work

PUBLISHED: 16:43 10 September 2020 | UPDATED: 16:43 10 September 2020

Helen Plowman, headteacher of Bluebell Primary School in Norwich. Picture: Yare Education Trust

Helen Plowman, headteacher of Bluebell Primary School in Norwich. Picture: Yare Education Trust

Yare Education Trust

A pair of headteachers are starting a new school term after being appointed virtually during coronavirus lockdown.

Helen Plowman and Kendra Collier took on the leadership roles in Bluebell Primary School, on Lovelace Road, Norwich, and Hemblington Primary School on Mill Road, Blofield Heath, near Brundall, after a two-day interview process through an online video technology in April.

Both schools are part of the Yare Education Trust which includes Thorpe St Andrew School and Sixth Form, Dussindale Primary School, Hillside Avenue Primary School and North Walsham Junior and infant School Federation.

Mrs Plowman, 36, from Wymondham, who used to be a deputy headteacher at West Earlham Junior School in Norwich, said: “The online interview process went really smooth. The Yare Education Trust organised them really well and at that point we were not used to video conferencing.

“It felt relaxed and like an easy conversation.”

The headteacher, who qualified in 2008 from the University of East Anglia with a PGCE in primary education aged 25, added: “We have ambitious plans for Bluebell to be a place where all students are successful, happy and safe, and engaging in a really creative curriculum.”

She said staff, students and parents had been very welcoming and positive.

Mrs Plowman, who grew up in Norfolk, welcomed the idea of carrying out more interviews through online video platforms as well as speaking to parents.

MORE: ‘Children needed to be back in class’ - Parents welcome return to school

Miss Collier has come from a headteacher position at a Spanish school.

Before then she worked at a school in St Mary’s Church of England Junior School in Long Stratton.

Clare Fletcher, acting CEO and director of schools in the trust, said: “It was a full-on day for interviewers and interviewees and all candidates reported they felt the challenging process was transparent, fair and exhausting.

“The interview panel did feel that in spite of the circumstances, they had been able to select the very best fit new headteacher for each school. In the future, the experience of interviewing virtually will be regarded as a way of making sure that strong applicants who, for whatever reason are unable to travel to Norfolk, can still be considered.”


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