Gosforth schools' group appoints new CEO as founder to retire in December

Dr Alexandra Thorp joins Gosforth Group as Chief Executive Officer.
-Credit: (Image: Gosforth Group)

Gosforth multi academy trust has appointed a new chief executive officer as its founder is set to step down.

CEO and former Gosforth High School headteacher Hugh Robinson will retire in December 2024, having been at the helm of the group since its formation in 2010. He will be replaced by Dr Alexandra Thorp, who is stepping down from her current position as Senior HMI (His Majesty's Inspector) at Ofsted, where she has served for four years.

Dr Thorp has been a headteacher in several schools across the country, and has also provided a UK education to British Military children overseas. She has been an inspector in primary, secondary and special schools and has worked with local authorities to help develop provision for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).

Dr Thorp said that it was a privilege to be joining the trust. She said: "It is clear that the trust has high aspirations for all children and young people, and I have been impressed by the dedication and commitment shown by staff at every level of the organisation. I look forward to getting to know each school better and meeting the pupils and families."

George Snaith, chair of trustees for Gosforth Group, said that Alexandra's track record of delivering outstanding results and extensive experience make her an ideal leader for the trust. He added: "We are certain she will be an exceptional CEO and play a pivotal role in helping us achieve our growth objectives for the Trust. We warmly welcome Alexandra and eagerly anticipate her contributions when she assumes her new role in September.

The Gosforth Group multi academy trust currently manages six academies; Jesmond Park Academy, Gosforth Academy, Gosforth Junior High Academy, North Gosforth Academy, Callerton Academy and Great Park Academy. The trust has been under fire from local parents and politicians after using a random allocation "tie break" system to place year nine pupils for the upcoming academic year - splitting some up from their siblings.

Newcastle city council recently upheld 39 appeals from parents of pupils who had been allocated a place at Great Park Academy instead of their first choice of Gosforth Academy.