Wise head on young shoulders? Britain’s youngest headteacher at 28
A young primary school teacher has become Britain’s youngest headteacher – aged just 28.
Fresh-faced Alex Reppold has taken over at Pocklington Community Junior School in Hull this week at 28 years and 10 months.
But governors who appointed him said that age never came into it and Alex was the best person for the job to take over the 204-pupil school – despite having more than a year until he even turns 30.
Alex said: “I don’t really believe age means anything, it’s the experience you have and whether you are right for the place.
“I have to admit I don’t really have much of a life – my family think I work a bit too much sometimes!”
After studying at the University of Hull, Alex – who grew up wanting to be a tractor driver – quickly impressed and was named Hull’s 2008 Newly Qualified Teacher of the Year.
He spent four years as a class teacher at Longhill Primary in east Hull teaching year 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6.
And he’s been a deputy head at Malton Primary for the last two and half years.
But after beating ten other candidates to the post Mr Reppold is looking forward to the challenge – and becoming Britain’s youngest headteacher after beating the previous holder of the title by more than a month.
Clive Lawrence, from Derby took up will take up his headship in September 2014, just five days short of his 29th birthday.
But as Alex will not celebrate his 29th birthday until June 6, he’s the youngest person ever to take up the role.
Alex said: “I love the fact that we’ve got something that makes our school unique.
“But I’m really just focused on improving the school and making it a part of the local community.
“We’re going to be asking the community – everyone from former pupils to local businesses – about what values they think they want our pupils to have.
“We’d like to have the modern version of the whole village raising the child.”
The school’s governors insist age was not a consideration.
Ann Hodgson, vice-chairman of governors, said: “As far as we were concerned, age didn’t come into it.
“It never crossed our minds because he was absolutely the right candidate.
“As a governing body, when we selected him, we didn’t know how old he was.
“We obviously realised he was under 30 but it didn’t play any part in the decision, he was just absolutely the right guy.”
“He has a very different approach and we are looking forward to working with him. I think he’s going to be great.”
And despite long abandoning his ambitions of tractor driving, Alex says his focus now is taking the school out of Ofsted’s decision at the last inspection that the school was ‘requiring improvement’
He said: “I don’t really believe age means anything, it’s the experience you have and whether you are right for the place.
“What this school needed was a very specific set of skills that I am very fortunate to have developed.
“I don’t think I would be the right headteacher for any school, I happen to be the right headteacher for this school.
“I guess I am proud to be the youngest headteacher because that is quite an achievement.
“My family were actually a bit surprised. They don’t want me to work too hard and just want what’s best for me.
“But I’m really excited for the potential the school has and I’m looking forward to helping all the staff and students become a shining example of a school being active in the community.”
Mike Furbank, council head of children and young people, education and schools, said: “The governors of Pocklington Community Junior School, supported by their assigned improvement partner from the local authority, undertook a rigorous recruitment and selection process and the best candidate was appointed.
“The age of the candidate was not relevant, the judgment was made on how well they met the needs of the school and the skills set the governors had defined prior to the process “.