THE new head teacher of St Gregory’s High School, who is tasked with the challenge of turning round the failing school’s fortunes following a critical Ofsted inspection, says the school is making rapid progress.

Paul Heitzman, who will take up the post of head teacher officially in September, believes the foundations are now in places to ensure the school can go from strength to strength.

He said: “The school is moving on and it has moved on. Behind the scenes, an awful lot has been going on and there has already been a lot of ground work.

“But what we don’t want to lose is the things that made St Gregory’s so distinctive and special over the years.”

The school on Cromwell Avenue was told it needed to take drastic action to improve by Ofsted following an inspection in December.

Inspectors criticised the school for failing to meet standards and was placed in special measures.

Since the report was published in February, the school has announced a new governing body, which Mr Heitzman described as ‘the most powerful governing body’ he has come across given the level of expertise they each bring to the role.

He added: “It is exciting to be joining what has traditionally been one of the top Catholic schools in the north west of England. The aim is to return us to that position as quickly as possible.

“Having met the new governing body, the staff team and students, the potential for improvement is clear and I am confident that rapid progress will be achieved.”

Mr Heitzman has previously worked at St Thomas a Becket Catholic High School in the Leeds Diocese and St Mary’s Catholic College in Wallasey, which was rated as outstanding by Ofsted in 2008.

He has also worked for Manchester Council supporting the head teachers of schools in special measures in the city.

Mr Heitzman will be joined by Ed McGlinchey as deputy head teacher, who has previously worked at Wright Robinson College in Manchester before moving to The Barlow School in Manchester, where he worked his way up to the position of deputy head.