In an email to parents this morning, August 4 2017, Stephen King, chair of Governors announced that Mr Martyn will depart at the end of term.
Mr King said: “While we have grown accustomed to changes to buildings every summer since opening in 2013 we are perhaps less comfortable with the idea of changes in key personnel, especially those who have played such an important part in our School’s inception and success.
“Nevertheless, change is inevitable and natural, and should be expected.
“In this capacity it is my duty to inform you that Chichester Free School is due to experience another significant change in the coming months as Mr Guy Martyn, our founding principal and the driving force behind CFS since 2013, will be departing at the end of Temperance Term to take up a new position as principal of an independent school in Essex from January 2018.”
The news will come as a major shock to parents who were expecting Mr Martyn to guide the school into its new home at the Carmelite Convent, currently under construction, due to be September next year.
The building of the new permanent school in Hunston has seen repeated delays and the pupils are currently being taught at Vinnetrow Business Park in Vinnetrow Road and the former Bartons County Infant School in North Bersted.
“For some, the timing of this decision may seem strange,” Mr King said in his email.
“We have recently witnessed our first successful SATS and GCSE results, and after the bitter disappointment of delays in the construction of our permanent site, we are now within sight of the finished article – a stunning, state-of-the-art school rejuvenating a local historical landmark.
“However, leading a school from start-up to where we are now is no simple task and Mr Martyn has invested many hundreds of additional hours in driving the project forward.
“We have met numerous free school heads and principals since before we opened and by far the majority are no longer in post due to the intense nature of the task.
“Mr Martyn has put his all into leading the school through challenging times, such is his dedication, resilience and capacity for sheer hard work.
“He has done an amazing job and although both as a parent and chair of governors, I am sorry that he is leaving, I understand his decision in wanting a fresh challenge and his wish to move on.
“We all, on behalf of our children’s futures, owe him a tremendous debt of gratitude and wish him, his wife Lara and Louis, Freddie and Henry the very best for the future.”
Experienced executive principal Jenny Clough will act as interim head until Chichester Free School is settled into its permanent site in Hunston.
Mrs Clough is one of the original founders of the free school and one of its trustees. Until recently she was executive head of Akeley Wood School in Buckinghamshire but has returned to the area and agreed to take on the role.
The new Year 7 pupils are understood to be starting this Wednesday with the other pupils returning on Thursday.
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