A NEWLY appointed principal is set to face a number of challenges after job losses were announced at Aireville School in Skipton.

Wendy Hamilton, who has been headteacher at Stamford Queen Eleanor School in Lincolnshire since 2009, will join Aireville in September when the school officially becomes an academy.

Ms Hamilton said: “I am looking forward to joining Aireville School in September. As the school moves towards academy status with the support of the Craven Educational Trust, I anticipate that this will mark a new era for the students and the school.”

One of Ms Hamilton's first tasks will be to turn around a school put into special measures by Ofsted last year.

However Ms Hamilton will be working with a smaller team as the school has also announced a reduction in staff for September.

Antony Booth, Aireville's chairman of governors, said: “There has been much to do at the school to address the issues raised in the May 2013 inspection report.

"The team now in place have worked tirelessly to deliver the improvements necessary to enable our students to achieve the outcomes they deserve.

"A part of this work has been to identify a new curriculum and the staff hours needed to teach our current student numbers. This has meant a reduction in staff for September which has mainly been achieved through voluntary redundancy.

"The school has worked closely in consultation with staff, unions and North Yorkshire local authority throughout this process. The changes we have had to make have given the school a long-term future, where all students have the opportunity to achieve their best.”

A spokesman for North Yorkshire County Council said the job losses would affect all staff, not just teachers. Not all the reductions would be redundancies, as there would be some natural wastage as well.

The council would not release figures on the number of job losses because the process is still ongoing, but it stressed one of Aireville’s key priorities was to make sure that the school had the strongest and most effective staffing structure in place for raising standards of teaching and learning.

Mr Booth said Ms Hamilton was the right person to lead the new academy, which would be supported by sponsor Craven Educational Trust and work closely with The Red Kite Teaching School Alliance, led by South Craven School in Cross Hills.

He said: “On behalf of the governors of Aireville School I would like to say that we are now really pleased to welcome Ms Wendy Hamilton to the position of principal of the new academy for September.

"We believe that her particular expertise and experience in leading an 11-16 academy will allow the school to move further towards a successful future.”

Ms Hamilton's appointment follows the departure of headteacher Mark O’Neill and acting headteacher Helen Woodcock, who has appointed headteacher at Rossett School in Harrogate.

Two consultations on the new academy proposals will be held on Tuesday. Existing parents of school pupils are invited to a 6pm to 7pm session and prospective parents and interested members of the public can attend a session from 7.30pm to 8.30pm.