A NEW headteacher has been appointed at Croesyceiliog School following the retirement of former executive headteacher Elspeth Lewis.

Mrs Lewis was appointed at Croesyceiliog in March 2020, and split her time between the school and her role as headteacher at King Henry VIII school in Abergavenny.

The school had been placed in special measures the week before, with concerns raised over pupils’ attendances, the quality of teaching, and a need to strengthen the school’s leadership.

South Wales Argus: Elspeth Lewis has retired. Picture: King Henry VIII SchoolElspeth Lewis has retired. Picture: King Henry VIII School

However, in November last year, the school was brought out of special measures after inspectors found it has made “sufficient progress”.

Last week, staff and pupils at Croesyceiliog School said goodbye to Mrs Lewis, who has retired following the end of the school year.

At a meeting of Torfaen council, deputy leader and executive member for education Cllr Richard Clark paid tribute to Mrs Lewis following her retirement.

“I would offer my thanks to her,” he said. “I’m sure she has contributed significantly to the school coming out of special measures.

“The lady is a dynamo, an unbelievable whirlwind. You get caught up in the enthusiasm that the lady has.”

Cllr Clark confirmed that Natalie Richards has been appointed as headteacher, starting in September.

Mrs Richards was previously deputy headteacher at Cardiff West Community High School.

“A new headteacher has been appointed, Natalie Richards,” said Cllr Clark. “She joins us from Cardiff West Community High School.

“She will be joining us in September, so there is no gap.”

Martin Hulland, headteacher at Cardiff West Community High School, said in a school newsletter: “Farewell to Mrs Richards, our deputy headteacher, who leaves us to take up her post as headteacher at Croesyceiliog.

“We thank her for her hard work and commitment to all students at the school and wish her well in her new role.

“I know that she will be leaving with many good memories.”