Headteacher Jim Nixon retires after dedicating two decades to educating children

  25 March, 2022

Long-time Norfolk headteacher Jim Nixon has officially retired as a headteacher, following an outstanding contribution to many schools, and therefore the lives of many children, across the region for almost two decades.

Over the years Jim has been a stalwart member of the Norfolk community, working in senior leadership and headship positions at schools throughout the region, as well as acting as a consultant for multiple academies. For more than ten years he has been a central member of the Ormiston Academies Trust (OAT) team, supporting its mission to be the Trust that makes the biggest difference both inside and outside the classroom.

Jim qualified as a teacher in 1977 and started his career in Kent teaching PE and music. However, after undertaking a Master’s in Curriculum Studies he switched tack to become a geography teacher, before climbing to more senior leadership positions within schools.

Jim came to Norfolk in 1994 to join St Clement’s High as an assistant principal. Jim’s wife, Carolyn, was from the area, so the couple were pleased to be moving close to family and friends.

From there, he became deputy head at Taverham High School, where he led on curriculum, behaviour and performance management. He also spearheaded a successful bid for the school to be given specialist sports college status.

Jim’s first headship was at Great Yarmouth High in 2005, and he then went on to become headteacher at the popular City of Norwich School (CNS) in 2009, where he remained until 2017. Both schools were rated Good with outstanding features by Ofsted under Jim’s leadership, and CNS has continued on this strong trajectory under the now headteacher Jo Philpott.

During his time at CNS, Jim set up the school’s award-winning partnership with the London Guildhall School of Music and Drama, which stands to this day, and remains extremely successful. Jim counts it amongst his proudest achievements, as it’s opened up a host of opportunities for young people to participate in incredible initiatives and visits, many of which they would not otherwise have experienced.

Jim originally retired in 2017, but soon returned to education as a regional advisor for OAT in September 2018. In this role, he worked alongside OAT academies across the Norfolk region including Ormiston Victory Academy, Flegg High Ormiston Academy, and Ormiston Venture Academy, amongst many more.

Most recently, Jim held the position of interim principal at Ormiston Denes Academy between 2019 and 2021, and then at Cliff Park Ormiston Academy from October 2021 to March of this year.

Jim will be very much missed by students and colleagues across the Trust and its schools, as well as the wider community in Norfolk. However, he will continue to do a small bit of consultancy work so will undoubtedly remain in touch.

Jim Nixon, former headteacher at City of Norwich School said: “It’s been a real pleasure to be part of the education community in Norfolk here for so long. Being a headteacher is a great privilege, and I am both pleased and proud to have been able to support and lead students and staff over the years and watch them flourish.

“The key to teaching is building relationships, and it’s that sense of teamwork and support that sits at the heart of OAT’s culture and has made my work so enjoyable. I look forward to continuing to cheer on all of the schools I’ve worked with and seeing what’s next on the horizon for them.”

Aron Whiles, regional director for the East at Ormiston Academies Trust said: “While we’ll all really miss working alongside Jim, I have no doubt that his impact will continue to be felt by schools across both Norfolk and the Trust more widely for a long time to come. He has been an excellent teacher, leader, advisor, and friend to so many of us, and we are tremendously grateful for his wisdom, tenacity and kindness he has shown over the years.”

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