New John of Gaunt head says it will be an honour to lead thriving school

This Is Wiltshire: Outgoing John of Gaunt headteacher Andy Packer with soon-to-be new head Mike Gunston. Photo: Trevor Porter (48758) Outgoing John of Gaunt headteacher Andy Packer with soon-to-be new head Mike Gunston. Photo: Trevor Porter (48758)

Mike Gunston, who will be the new headteacher at John of Gaunt School in September, said it is an honour and a privilege to be given the role of leading the school after three years as deputy headteacher.

Mr Gunston, who started his career at John Cabot Academy in Bristol, joined John of Gaunt in 2007 as the director of learning for PE, before taking on the role of deputy headteacher.

The 33-year-old has also been on a year’s secondment for three days a week at The Grange School in Bristol this year, working as interim principal with the Cabot Learning Federation to turn around the special measures school.

Mr Gunston, who lives in Paxcroft Mead, Trowbridge, with wife Michelle and their three children, now aims to build on the strong foundations left by current headteacher Andy Packer, who will leave in July.

He said: “This year has been very interesting as I have been on secondment at The Grange and it’s been a huge learning experience. It’s allowed me to develop my leadership skills.

“John of Gaunt has the strong foundations in place to move forward and become an outstanding school.

“There are very high aspirations here and incredibly talented staff who can deliver the best outcomes for the children.

“An outstanding Ofsted is what we are aiming for, but more importantly for me is a school where children achieve highly and leave us with everything they need to be ready for the wider world.

“I’m very focused on holistic qualities such as leadership and I want our pupils to leave us as confident individuals.

“I want to build on the structures we already have in place and give pupils more responsibility.”

Mr Gunston said he is also keen on working more closely with feeder primary schools. John of Gaunt is currently going through the recruitment process for a new deputy head to start in September.

He added: “It’s a complete honour and a privilege for me to take on this role. I have been here for seven years and the school has improved no end in that time, so to lead it in its next phase is very exciting. I know the school and the children very well and I have a strong relationship with the parents.

“I believe our pupils are truly wonderful and have a vibrancy about them that I’m very excited about.”

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