Headteacher to leave for new mainland role

By a County Press reporter

Monday, February 17, 2014

 

THE headteacher of an Isle of Wight secondary school is to take up a post on the mainland.

Medina College headteacher Nathan Thomas, who joined the school in May 2011, will leave in September 2014 to become headteacher of a school in Andover.

Last year, Ofsted head Sir Michael Wilshaw praised Mr Thomas’ efforts to improve standards. The school was rated as requiring improvement following its last Ofsted inspection.

Mr Thomas said: "I have loved every minute of my time at Medina and leaving has not been an easy decision to make. The staff and students of Medina will always hold a special place in my heart and I leave knowing that Medina is in a strong position to continue on its journey towards 'outstanding.'

"There has been a great deal of change at Medina in the last three years to make the College a suitable learning environment for Key Stage 3 and Key Stage 4 learners.

"In September 2011, education on the Island was in a difficult place; 750 new students and 50 new staff arrived into a school with systems and structures which were not fit for purpose.

"Three years later, whilst the journey is by no means complete, we have come a long, long way.

"Everything at Medina has improved since those difficult early days, particularly in the teaching and learning, behaviour and safety of the students and this is now having a good impact on the progress the students are making."

Mr Thomas’s new post is 15 minutes from his home in Winchester: "I have made the decision to leave as my wife and children, who live in Winchester, want me to come home.

"My wife is an amazing woman, who over the last three years has essentially been a single mother of two and full time carer for her mother, at the same time as holding down a full time job.

"I miss my family hugely and feel that Medina is now in a good position and I can leave and let the next head take the college forward on the next part of its exciting journey.

"People who know me will know, I am passionate about education and passionate about Medina and will be working tirelessly with the staff over the next six months to ensure all of the students are pushed to reach their full potential in the summer."

Chair of Governors Terence Hart stated: "Nathan, supported by his staff, has done a fantastic job in developing Medina College, to the point at which we are confident it will get better and better.

"Nathan has also contributed to the ongoing debate amongst the Island education community about significantly improving education overall and will be a great loss to the college, federation and the Island.

"The governing body will advertise for a new Head Teacher immediately and aim to attract a high calibre candidate, to continue the excellent work that is Nathan’s legacy."

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by Dave Holloway

23rd February 2014, at 14:32:59

I'm afraid you are generally right - IOW = NIMBY

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by alan naylor

21st February 2014, at 22:08:23

Mr Holloway I do know there has been so many people come to the island and invested with great enthusiasm in the profesional field and bussness field and have left dialusuned and some who have lost a lot of money Islanders do not invest in the island at all they all know

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by Keven Ball

21st February 2014, at 17:46:55

It is nice to know he was popular and likeable. I am sure he will be missed by staff and the children/parents. All the school/college can hope for is someone like him to takeover when they reappoint. Again, I wish him well in his new role as others do.

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by Clare Nordbruch

21st February 2014, at 14:03:02

Pupils have set up a Facebook page offering messages of thanks and happy memories of Nathan Thomas as such an inspirational teacher.

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Well-miss-you-Mr-T/1404152253177227

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by Clare Nordbruch

21st February 2014, at 14:02:04

Nathan Thomas has been absolutely amazing. My daughter had to move from a so called 'acclaimed' secondary school after two years of terrible upset/lack of support from staff/SEN department and the head. On moving to Medina three years ago, Mr Thomas personally introduced himself to my daughter on the first day; he has known her and myself well ever since. He has always been contactable by email, and responds, as do other staff in the college. This is a complete contrast to the last school where the only email contact and phone number was the main office, and leaving a message there never worked. Nor did official complaints.
Nathan has been amazing for Medina and my daughter and I were both devastated when we read Mr Thomas's letter to families and pupils. His attitude towards the school/families/pupils/staff has been incredibly caring, attentive and professional. He brought Medina through a difficult phase from three to two tier and managed it well. Can't say enough good about him.

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by Keven Ball

20th February 2014, at 11:28:44

The problem is trying and doing are two different things initially!

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by Keven Ball

20th February 2014, at 11:26:44

@ Will - yes I did see that, which proves the head was trying very hard to turn the school around. As he is leaving this could slip backwards! Again, not a good sign at all.

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by Keven Ball

20th February 2014, at 11:25:09

Hi David & Will- Yes I did say in my first comment "I feel Nathan Thomas has tried very hard to improve the school in question (Medina)." I am sure he has helped the school but feels it is time for him to move on. It will take along time for the school to get where it wants to be. Losing the head teacher is not a good sign... the school will need stability in its staff and overall hierarchy. This is a big blow to the school and sends out worrying signs!

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by Will Matthews

20th February 2014, at 08:55:24

Keven: did you see what grade Leadership and Management was?

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by Dave Holloway

19th February 2014, at 23:43:48

Keven, on a more positive note, compared to the other high schools, Medina is leading the pack (and don't get me started on the Ofsted inspection of CtK) - I'm not disputing that there is still a lot of work to do for Medina to attain outstanding status, but Mr Thomas is building the foundations - there is no quick fix, and the more the detractors who are quick to put down the educators on the island realise this, the easier it will be if we ALL pull together.

Any views or opinions presented in the comments above are solely those of the author and do not represent those of the Isle of Wight County Press.

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