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New headteacher revealed for one of Suffolk's leading schools

PUBLISHED: 18:51 23 January 2020 | UPDATED: 08:52 24 January 2020

Tom Maltby will take over as the new headteacher at Holbrook Academy. Picture: SUPPLIED BY HOLBROOK ACADEMY

Tom Maltby will take over as the new headteacher at Holbrook Academy. Picture: SUPPLIED BY HOLBROOK ACADEMY

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Holbrook Academy has named Tom Maltby as the person who will succeed the legendary Dr Simon Letman as headteacher.

Mr Maltby follows in the footsteps of Simon Letman, above, who was headteacher at Holbrook Academy before his sudden death last year. Picture: PHIL MORLEYMr Maltby follows in the footsteps of Simon Letman, above, who was headteacher at Holbrook Academy before his sudden death last year. Picture: PHIL MORLEY

Parents, teachers and students at school near Ipswich were left shocked and saddened after "devoted" Dr Letman's sudden death on Saturday, April 13 last year.

He was described as a "dedicated" school leader who transformed the school's fortunes since joining in 2013, motivating children with the inspiring words: "I'm going to take you to infinity and beyond."

His shoes will undoubtedly be big ones to fill - but the academy believes it has found the right person for the job in Mr Maltby, currently headteacher of a large state secondary school in south-west London.

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In a letter to parents, Holbrook Academy chairman of governors Louise Cullen said: "Following two days of intensive interviews, presentations, tasks and activities, Mr Maltby impressed us all with his experience and ideas, his excellent communication skills and his ambitions for the school."

She said Mr Maltby "has grown to know and love our local area" by visiting Suffolk nearly every weekend for three years to see his partner - to whom he is getting married later this year.

He takes up the reins from September 2020, with Nicola Mayhew - who has been acting headteacher since Dr Letman's death - continuing to lead the Ipswich Road school until then.

Ms Cullen thanked Mrs Mayhew "for her dedication in continuing to improve our school" and "taking on the leadership since Dr Letman's sad and sudden death last Easter".

Holbrook Academy  Picture: RACHEL EDGEHolbrook Academy Picture: RACHEL EDGE

Ms Cullen also thanked "our wonderful staff team for their constant hard work" and said: "We will always remember Dr Letman as a big part of our school's history."Mr Maltby is set to write to parents shortly to introduce himself and his vision for the school.

Governors also praised students who took part in the recruitment process "with their careful considered and insightful questioning, their reasoned feedback and their welcoming and polite behaviour".

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