New headteacher? Pupils given the chance to decide who’s best for job

�A Hornchurch headteacher had to pass the ultimate test before getting his new job – by being interviewed by students.

Pupils from The Albany School quizzed eight candidates during the interview process before naming Adam Thorne as their favourite.

Luckily, governors and the council listened to their comments and agreed that he was the best person for the job.

Mr Thorne said: “Students can pick things up very quickly so it was a good idea to involve them in the interview process. It was a good way to see who was good at engaging them and getting the best out of them.

“They asked some fun questions and some searching ones about my vision for the school, about tackling bullying and what I could bring to the school.”

Head boy and panel member Rhys Williams, 16, said: “I had the idea for the interviews in my English lesson, preparing for my speaking and listening assessment in a role as a journalist.

“Mr Thorne instantly made an impression. He was tall, friendly, bubbly and charismatic. Our icebreakers gave us the impression that he was very approachable and we then asked questions which were more about the actual school.

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“We knew that he was the man for the job from the positive way he interacted with us, making us feel at ease and comfortable.”

Deputy headteacher and teacher governor Gary Wimbush added: “In the two weeks that Mr Thorne has been at The Albany, he has made a truly positive impact. His enthusiasm, knowledge, diligence and warmth towards both staff and students is admirable.

Mr Thorne replaces retiring headteacher Paul Hasan-Richardson. He was previously at The Gilberd School in Colchester, Essex.

Half American, he is married and has two children, aged 10 and five. Mr Thorne is also a third Dan black belt in Taekwondo and plays the guitar.