New headteacher appointed to troubled school

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  • John Toal appointed as headteacher at De La Salle
  • He is currently deputy at scandal-hit school in Altrincham
  • De La Salle was placed in special measures earlier this year
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Education bosses in St Helens have appointed a new headteacher at a troubled borough school.

De La Salle High was historically one of the best performing secondaries in the town but was placed in special measures in February.

I would like to wish John the very best as he takes over De La Salle’s leadership. His track record is second to none, and I am confident that he will be a success at De La Salle

Coun Jeanette Banks, cabinet member for Education and Lifelong Learning

A damning Ofsted report criticised poor leadership and below par exam success.

The previous long-serving headteacher Will Daunt announced he would retire shortly after the inspectors’ verdict.

He was replaced by interim heads Paul Dickinson and Phil Jamieson.

But today (Monday) council officials announced the appointment of John Toal as the school’s new headteacher.

Currently the deputy headteacher at St Ambrose School in Altrincham, he will take up his new post after the summer holidays.

His long list of achievements in secondary education include helping St Ambrose achieve an ‘outstanding’ status from Ofsted.

The school also scored impressive Gcse results last year, with 98 per cent of students gaining 5A* to C grades, including English and maths.

However, his time at St Ambrose co-incided with a scandal after one of its former teachers, Alan Morris, was jailed for nine year for historical sex abuse of pupils.

The school also recently suspended two staff members over claims they knew about Morris’ sexual abuse. He was jailed for nine years in August for spanking and groping pupils for his own gratification while he was a teacher at the all-boys grammar school. An independent inquiry is now underway into the suspended teachers.

Coun Jeanette Banks, cabinet member for Education and Lifelong Learning, said: “I would like to wish John the very best as he takes over De La Salle’s leadership.

“His track record is second to none, and I am confident that he will be a success at De La Salle.

“As the local authority, we will continue to work with the school so it emerges from a category of concern quickly.

“I would also like to pay tribute to the two interim headteachers at De La Salle - Mr Paul Dickinson and Mr Phil Jamieson, who have worked assiduously with the school’s staff and students to provide highly effective leadership over the past few months.

“We are extremely grateful for their contributions to the life and work of De La Salle.”