Today we bid a fond farewell to the Interim Principal of National Church of England Academy as Jackie Heath takes her well-earned retirement.

Jackie joined the academy in September 1981 working as a modern foreign languages teacher and has continually progressed throughout her career at National. During her lengthy service, she has taken on roles as head of year 11, head of faculty, advanced skills teacher, lead for teaching and learning, and progressed to assistant principal, then vice principal. Fittingly, at the culmination of her career she took on overall leadership for the academy, becoming interim principal during this academic year.

Jackie said of her time at National: “This past year has been a particularly great source of joy and satisfaction for me as I took on the position of principal of the academy that I joined all those years ago as an NQT (newly qualified teacher). It is rare nowadays to remain in one career, let alone one school, for the whole of a working life. The time has finally come for me to say goodbye and I wish all of our students, current and past, and their families well for the future.

“Our academy has always played a significant role in providing a good education and developing young people’s personal skills – I have been proud and happy to have worked with our parents and local community in achieving this.”

Chair of governors, Kathryn Mitford, added: “I would like to particularly thank Jackie for not only her excellent year as interim principal but her long service and dedication to National. She has worked tirelessly throughout her time her to make sure each and every student is at the centre of everything we do. Jackie has seen many changes at National and has always been passionate about our academy. She will be greatly missed but we wish her all the best in her retirement.”

Following Jackie’s departure, National will welcome a new principal in September as Martin Brailsford joins the academy.

From everyone at Diverse Academies, we thank Jackie for all of her hard work during her career and wish her all the very best for her retirement.