Alston welcome for new headteacher

Date: Friday 9th January 2009

SAMUEL King’s School, at Alston, this week welcomed its new headteacher, John Whittle.

Mr. Whittle (right), who comes to Alston from Beacon Hill School, in Aspatria, took over the reins on Monday from former headteacher Maurice Peddelty, who had taught at Samuel King’s School for 18 years. It is Mr. Whittle’s first headship.

Aged 43, he lives near Carlisle with his wife Lesley and has three children. Mrs. Whittle is also a headteacher in the district, having taken over at Brough Primary School in September.

Originally from Ulverston, Mr. Whittle studied PE at Leeds Polytechnic and took his first teaching post at Kirkby Stephen Grammar School from 1986 to 1996.

He then moved to become head of PE at Cockermouth School until 2005, when he transferred to Beacon Hill School, Aspatria, as deputy head. In recent years Mr. Whittle has mainly taught science rather than PE and has also taught geography and citizenship in the past.

He said: “I feel apprehensive about taking over but am looking forward to it and relish the challenge.

“Samuel King’s and Beacon Hill are similar schools, both quite small schools, both with different challenges, but with similar characteristics and both part of the rural academy.”

Mr. Whittle said his plans for the school included carrying on the good work of Mr. Peddelty and trying to get the best for each and every pupil. He will also be reviewing the curriculum and looking to improve the quality of teaching and learning. Anthony Tufferey will continue as assistant headteacher.

“I’ve found the school very friendly and am looking forward to working here. The staff seem great and also the governors,” added Mr. Whittle.

Out of school he is an active sportsman. For many years he played rugby for Upper Eden and continues to play golf at Appleby. Last year he was the golf county B team captain.