Vicki confirmed as West Exe head
THE new headteacher of the city's largest school has expressed her "delight" at her appointment.
Vicki Carah has been acting head at West Exe Technology College since former executive headteacher Steve Maddern resigned in April. His resignation followed the Echo's revelation that he was earning an inflated salary of £156,000.
And a damning report into the financial management of Mr Maddern and former chairman of governors Paul Smith was also released by Devon County Council.
There were six applicants for the new post and interviews took place last week.
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The selection and interview panel was led by chair of governors Peter Scott, who took over from Mr Smith when he stepped down in February 2012.
Mrs Carah will continue as acting head until the appointment commences at the start of the summer term.
"I'm delighted," she said. "I'm very excited. There are lots of challenges but this is a real opportunity to build on what's already been achieved the last few months.
"Permanence and stability are really important to bring things forward.
"There are lots of things I want to celebrate and build on and that will involve collaborating with others including staff, parents, governors and other primary schools across the city, which is part of the excitement."
Mrs Carah said she would be looking to further the school's science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) agenda.
"These are areas we specialise in but haven't necessarily furthered," she continued.
She said the past few months had run smoothly in her position as acting head thanks to the "fantastic support" she's received from both governors and parents.
"The day the announcement was made was one of the nicest days I can remember," she added. "I've had a continual stream of emails and texts, flowers and chocolates.
"There is a definite mood that we can move forward together now."
In line with Government guidelines, Mr Scott confirmed the post was advertised as having a salary range of £78,298 to £90,704.
He said: "The panel had tough and challenging decisions to make during the process and Vicki impressed us with her clear vision and direction for West Exe to move on from the difficult time experienced through the early part of 2012.
"I am very much looking forward to working closely with Vicki allowing her to develop her ideas to move West Exe forward.
"The staff at West Exe will now be able to move on and take the college to great new levels, having drawn a line under the issues of last year," Mr Scott added.
"Staff have been very supportive and I am sure they will welcome the appointment of Vicki as the new substantive headteacher.
"This is an exciting time for West Exe and it has been very satisfying this morning for the governing body to receive votes of support and thanks from staff and members of the community. I would like to thank everyone who assisted in the appointment process, including the staff, students, primary headteachers and local authority advisers."