After 23 years at the helm, Devon’s longest serving secondary head Dr Kevin Bawn has retired as Principal. His succesor is Sara Jacobs who initially joined Clyst Vale in 2019 as Deputy Principal. Over the last four years Sara has become fully immersed in the culture and ethos of the College, working closely alongside Dr Bawn and the rest of the senior leadership team to lead College improvements. Sara’s energy and drive played a significant role in the College securing its recent ‘Good’ judgement from OFSTED in December 2023. Prior to joining Clyst Vale, Sara worked for nearly 30 years across four different secondary schools in a variety of leadership roles including Assistant Headteacher at Uffculme and Director of the West Country Teaching School Alliance and brings a wealth of experience to the post.
In her first letter to parents and carers Ms Jacobs acknowledged it was a privilege to be the next Principal at Clyst Vale, stressing that whilst there would be a focus on developing a culture of excellence, the values that underpin the ethos of the college would remain. As a Gold Award winning Rights Respecting School Clyst Vale is renowned in the local area for its tradition of putting young people first. It is a college that promotes positive relationships built on trust and a collective purpose to empower every student in its community to thrive, unlock their potential, and fulfil their aspirations.
Ms Jacobs commended Dr Bawn on his long and successful career, becoming one of Devon’s most respected headteachers, noting that he had worked tirelessly for nearly a quarter of a century to ensure that Clyst Vale has remained rooted in the heart of the local community and promoted the importance of inclusive education. Ms Jacobs said that “Dr Bawn departs Clyst Vale having achieved both OFSTED Good and Rights Respecting School Gold accreditation leaving the College exceptionally well placed for future success. I express my gratitude for his relentless dedication to the College and his invaluable support over the past 4 years. I wish him a very happy and well-deserved retirement”.