Heading for Ofsted role

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A headteacher at a Leighton lower school has left to become an Ofsted inspector after being headhunted.

Deborah Pargeter, who has been with Mary Bassett since 2007, was approached by Ofsted at the end of 2013 and decided to train as an inspector – a role she will start in January.

She said: “Although not a popular role in schools, I really feel that my experience of growing a happy, successful school will give me the insight to support school’s through the inspection process.”

Mary Bassett has grown significantly since Mrs Pargeter took the reins.

She said: “We are now have an over-subscribed pre-school with an ‘outstanding’ Ofsted rating. I set-up the pre-school in September 2007 and it has since expanded twice and now has a long waiting list. The school roll was about 80 when I started and it is now 290 with children on a waiting list.

“Children start at Mary Bassett performing at about average and generally leave our school achieving almost a year above age expectation.

“I have led some fantastic whole school trips to the seaside, the Tower of London and the theatre. Children from Mary Bassett are now excited about coming to school and really enjoy their learning, we know this as ‘The Mary Bassett Way’.”

She added: “Mary Bassett is a really strong school with a team of over 70 staff to ensure that it continues to go from strength to strength.

“Kristian Hewitt has been appointed as the new headteacher and is a local dad of two with strong connections with the town. He has been working with the school as a governor for several years and comes to us as a senior leader in Education in Milton Keynes.

“Leaving a school is like handing over your child.

“Mary Bassett has been my life for the last seven years and I have laughed, cried and celebrated every victory and success.

“I am so proud to pass the school to Kristian knowing that it is a strong community that puts children, learning and fun at the heart of its belief. It is an incredibly happy, dynamic place and I feel privileged to be a small part of its long history.”