Gospel Oak Primary’s new headteacher vows to make the good school a ‘great’ school

An energetic headteacher with a passion for running and for bringing out the best in every child has taken over the reins at Gospel Oak Primary School.

John Hayes, 46, was previously head of school improvement for early years and primary in Islington for eight years.

Before that he was a headteacher in Stevenage, Hertfordshire, after having taught in a number of primary schools in the county.

He took up his new job at Gospel Oak Primary in Mansfield Road, Gospel Oak, in January and said his vision for the school is simple: “This is already a good school, my hope is that in the next few years we will make it a great one,” said Mr Hayes. “For me it’s more than just an Ofsted category of outstanding. I’m more interested in making sure that pupils remember the school as having been great for them.


“Every primary school pupil should be given the opportunity to excel at something, whether it’s academic or something completely different.

“Whatever their enthusiasm we should be able to find a way to develop that in school.”

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The school, which has 470 pupils, has four brass bands and an excellent reputation for both music and sport.

But Mr Hayes hopes to further diversify the curriculum and would like to channel his personal interest in running into setting up a school fun run or entering a team of staff into a race.

“It’s great to have goals and to focus on achieving something,” he said.

After eight years working for Islington Council overseeing schools, the father-of-two felt the urge to return to the frontline.

“It got to the point where I wanted to see the direct impact of my work, I wanted to see it through,” he said. “I missed the buzz you get from working with children every day.”