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86


PRINCIPAL OF DARTMOUTH ACADEMY AND KINGSBRIGE COMMUNITY COLLEGE Interview by Kate Cotton


TINA GRAHAM


SINCE THE START OF THIS ACADEMIC YEAR TINA GRA- HAM HAS BEEN AT THE HELM OF NOT JUST ONE, BUT TWO, SECONDARY SCHOOLS IN THE SOUTH HAMS. She has been principal of Dartmouth Academy since 2015 and has now taken up a second headship at Kingsbridge Community College. Both schools are part of the multi-academy trust Education South West. She said: “My most frequently asked question is ‘how


are you managing to find the time to lead both?’ It’s busy but extremely exciting, with incredible opportuni- ties across both the schools. “My response is always that we have strengthened


the fantastic leadership teams in both schools, both schools have a Deputy Head alongside great systems and mechanisms for working together. We have the capacity to get better and better in both schools and we’ve had overwhelming support from parents, teachers and governors. “We now share staffing


as assistant head of geography and later joined the Leadership Team in 2006 as Head of Sixth Form. She said: “I stayed at Kingsbridge in a variety of roles


“I’m enormously proud to be part of a school that has transformed and become the centre of the community”


expertise across both schools which maximises the use of resources. There are many possibilities as we move forward and evolve to continue to offer all our pupils in both schools the widest curriculum possible. “It also creates a wider range of opportunities for


teachers to progress in their careers. It’s only been a few weeks but already we can see the huge potential of fantastic opportunities for our students and staff.” Tina joined Kingsbridge Community College in 1999


until 2016, when I was asked to step in as principal of Dartmouth Academy. It was a difficult time for Dartmouth and the school went into Ofsted’s special measures only three weeks after I took up the post. “My intention had been to act as a temporary head but I became committed to the school very quickly. The teachers were all working incredibly hard and, with a lot of focus, we pulled the school out of special meas- ures in two years. In fact we went straight to “good” status in all Ofsted categories. It was a fantastic endorsement of the way in which staff, pupils and parents had pulled together.” Dartmouth Academy is now going from strength to strength. “I’m enormously proud to be part of a school that has transformed and become the centre of the community,” added Tina. “We have been working closely with the


Britannia Royal Naval College having signed a twinning agreement in 2018. “We had our second Remembrance Service there


this year, when our children from aged six to 16 walked to the naval college on Remembrance Day. “It was an incredible experience in terms of respect and thinking bigger than the school day.” Kingsbridge Community College was awarded “outstanding” by Ofsted inspectors in 2003. They are


“My most frequently asked question is ‘how are you managing to find the time to lead both?’


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