Tuesday, September 26, 2023

New super-head appointed to Grays School

A NEW head with a reputation for dynamism and trouble-shooting has been appointed as the head of Grays School and Media Arts College.

James Howarth is the former vice-principal of Harris Academy (Crystal Palace) as well as having experience of running challenging pupil referral units.

His appointment may raise some eyebrows in the school as insiders reported that the Harris Federation were rebuffed from being involved in the school due to “clashes regarding ethos.”

The school is now in the hands of the Academy Transformation Trust that has other under-performing schools such as Mark Hall in Harlow in its portfolio.

A spokesperson said: “Academy Transformation Trust is expanding and developing at a stable pace and this recent employment drive ensures that we have the right people in place to push our schools forward”

“We are very much concentrating on building a rewarding and proactive learning environment for our students and I know that all three new staff members will go above and beyond to achieve this.”

Mr Howarth said: “I’m really excited and thrilled to be starting this new role as Principal, said James Howarth. I am keen to start building on the current strengths of both the staff and students to ensure that The Grays School Media Arts College is as outstanding as it can be.”

The appointment has received a cautious welcome from the new portfolio holder, cllr John Kent.

Cllr John Kent said:

“The council has been working closely with the trust on ensuring the Grays School Media Arts College has a bright future and welcomes this news.

“As I have said before, I have a vested interest in Thurrock education as my children attend three different schools in the borough – including The Grays.

“I quite understand why schools seek academy status – they are pushed towards it by the way legislation and regulation is written these days.”


  1. wasn’t the last head bought in with a fanfare for making changes, lets see in 12months time if this one is living up to their reputation, watch this space

  2. Perhaps the issue with the school is 1, the local authorities involvement and 2, unwilling to change the ethos, I have heard that excuse for the last few years.

    A lot of the schools in Thurrock have had issues over the years, they made a break and they all seem to be doing well so far.


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