A HEADTEACHER with a wealth of experience has spoken of her pride and excitement at taking on a new leadership role covering two North-East primary schools.

Zoe Beach has been appointed as Executive Headteacher at Heathfield and Northwood primary schools in Darlington.

Mrs Beach said her aim is to bring together the strengths of the two schools, and work in partnership with parents, to help every pupil meet their full potential.

“This is such an exciting opportunity to build on the great work that has taken place at Northwood and Heathfield in recent years, and the vision is to develop two schools of choice for families in Darlington,” she said.

Mrs Beach, who was raised in Brotton, is in her 26th year of teaching, having started her career with her local Redcar and Cleveland education authority.

She came to Darlington to be Deputy Headteacher at the newly built Northwood Primary School in January 2010, just as it was replacing North Road Primary School. She became Northwood’s Headteacher in 2014.

Northwood, pictured below, was one of the first members of the Lingfield Education Trust – along with Heathfield and Hurworth primary schools – when it joined the trust as its first sponsored school in 2016.

The Trust’s chief executive, Nick Blackburn, said: “This is a key appointment, and we are delighted that someone of Zoe’s calibre will be leading these two excellent schools into a bright new era.

“The outstanding leadership at Northwood was highly commended by Ofsted recently and Zoe has done an amazing job there.”

Heathfield’s outgoing Headteacher, Helen Tarokh, is leaving to pursue other career opportunities, and Mr Blackburn added: “We would like to thank Helen for the invaluable contribution she has made.”

The restructure will see Sarah Wassell become Head of School at Northwood, and Mark Dipple appointed as Head of School at Heathfield. They are currently Deputy Head Teachers at the schools, which are both officially rated as “good” by Ofsted.

Mrs Beach, a mother of three boys, said: “My job is to be a champion of every child by making sure that the staff are committed to our vision, and by listening to parents so that we are all working together towards the same ambitious goals.”