A SENIOR officer charged with continuing to drive up education standards across Hartlepool said he is relishing the challenges that lie ahead.
Dean Jackson, 52, this week started in his new role for Hartlepool Borough Council as assistant director (performance and achievement).
Mr Jackson is working within the child and adult services department following the departure of Caroline O’Neill, 49, to Durham County Council earlier this year.
A key part of his role will be to work with all Hartlepool schools to continue driving up attainment levels across the town.
Mr Jackson joins the council from North Tyneside Council where he has been involved in school improvement for the past 10 years.
The former headteacher, whose salary with the council is £70,254, is looking forward to his new role.
Mr Jackson, a keen sportsman, said: “Hartlepool Council has an excellent reputation for improving education standards in recent years and I am delighted to be given the opportunity to build on this success.
“I am looking forward very much to working with all schools and key partner organisations to ensure that Hartlepool children achieve their full potential.”
The married dad-of-two is a former school of excellence coach at Bury Football Club and is a qualified cricket umpire.
Nicola Bailey, the council’s acting chief executive, said: “Dean is a former head teacher himself and has been a school improvement advisor for a number of years so has a wealth of experience.
“I’m sure he’ll prove to be an excellent appointment and I wish him well in Hartlepool.”
Last summer youngsters across Hartlepool were praised after securing the best-ever GCSE results in the town’s history, continuing a year-on-year improvement.
The figures showed the number of students achieving five or more A*-C passes was 78.5 per cent, compared to 74.6 per cent the year before.
Meanwhile, the number of youngsters gaining five or more A*-C passes in subjects including English and maths also rocketed, with a 56.9 per cent pass rate resulting in a seven per cent rise on the 49.6 per cent recorded the previous year.
Mr Jackson was head of Swarland First School before becoming head of Grange View First School in Northumberland.
He then became head of Greenfields Community Primary, in Wideopen, North Tyneside, in 1999 before joining the North Tyneside School Improvement Service in 2002.