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'It's a fantastic school' - South Wootton Junior School headteacher to take on top role at Caister Junior School

PUBLISHED: 14:00 06 June 2017 | UPDATED: 14:04 06 June 2017

Headteacher Jonathan Rice will be leaving South Wootton Junior School at the end of the Summer term. Also pictured are head girl Bailey Garrod and head boy Freddie Burt. Picture: Ian Burt

Headteacher Jonathan Rice will be leaving South Wootton Junior School at the end of the Summer term. Also pictured are head girl Bailey Garrod and head boy Freddie Burt. Picture: Ian Burt

Archant 2017

A well-known headteacher in west Norfolk is to enjoy a change of scenery when he takes up a headship on the coast.

Headteacher Jonathan Rice will be leaving South Wootton Junior School at the end of the Summer term. Also pictured are head girl Bailey Garrod and head boy Freddie Burt. Picture: Ian BurtHeadteacher Jonathan Rice will be leaving South Wootton Junior School at the end of the Summer term. Also pictured are head girl Bailey Garrod and head boy Freddie Burt. Picture: Ian Burt

Jonathan Rice will leave South Wootton Junior School at the end of the school year to take up the top role at Caister Junior School.

In March, the school’s former headteacher Coral Brinklow retired after 38 years experience in the field.

Mr Rice, who is moving because of family commitments, said while he was looking forward to the challenge, waving farewell to South Wootton would be tricky.

In his four years at the helm, Mr Rice, who was previously at Tunstead Primary School, and his team took the school from requiring improvement in its 2014 Ofsted report to good at the end of 2016.

Headteacher Jonathan Rice will be leaving South Wootton Junior School at the end of the Summer term. Picture: Ian BurtHeadteacher Jonathan Rice will be leaving South Wootton Junior School at the end of the Summer term. Picture: Ian Burt

He said: “We’ve put ourselves in a good position, in terms of both Ofsted and generally, but I do love South Wootton and I would have liked to stay a bit longer.

“But I am very pleased to be starting at Caister - it’s a fantastic school and Coral did a fantastic job over the last seven or eight years.”

He said he was looking forward to the challenges of a headship at a new school.

“Coastal schools are a little bit different and traditionally there are more issues with deprivation,” he said, “but I think they will be fairly similar to those of rural deprivation, which we experience in west Norfolk too.”

He said Caister was also home to maths teacher Kim Dyble, the creator of the Norfolk maths monkey - a toy primate which pupils can take home for a week, provided they practice their maths while he’s with them.

“It’s quite phenomenal,” Mr Rice said. “It’s in schools all over Norfolk now. Caister’s maths results are excellent, particularly progress scores, and I’m sure that’s no coincidence.”

He added: “I just want to say a big thank you to parents - they’ve been really supportive about what we’ve done. I always say we have such a good team there that nobody leaves, but now it’s me going. I will certainly miss it.”

• Do you have an education story? Email lauren.cope@archant.co.uk

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