Principal appointed to new North Devon school

The Route 39 Academy signs up its new head as plans progress ready for opening next year.

A new secondary school scheduled to open in North Devon next year is well on its way after appointing its first ever principal.

The Route 39 Academy, due to open in September on land near Bucks Cross, has recruited Joss Glossop to lead the new ‘free school’ as it takes its first steps.

The school will start from scratch with an intake of 100 Year 7 pupils. Following an open day at Woolsery Hall last month, organisers report a great deal of interest from prospective parents.

The project has been led by parents from the off and there was jubilation when the plans and funding were approved in July by the Prime Minister and Education Secretary Michael Gove.

The school will be sited on the A39 near Bucks Cross and the Educational Funding Agency is currently looking at four different sites, working through negotiations and discussion with planners.

The new build is proposed at 5,950 square metres, on a site large enough to accommodate sports facilities, a business hub and workshops.

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The building will not be completed by September 2013, so students will be in temporary accommodation for the first year, on the final site, or nearby.

The Route 39 Academy Trust leading the project says this accommodation will still have all the facilities to ensure the full curriculum is delivered.

Joss Glossop is currently deputy principal at South Dartmoor Community College and will take up her new job in January, She is in the midst of making arrangements to move her family to North Devon from their home in Bovey Tracey. She has four children, the youngest of whom are twin boys currently in Year 5.

“I will be sending my children to Route 39 Academy, because the school we’re going to set up is truly going to deliver the education I would want for my own children,” she said.

A new Fellowship Programme was launched at the open day and will feature 21 Founding Fellows, who will visit for one afternoon a year to share their experiences with the students. The first to sign up was War Horse author Michael Morpurgo OBE.

The Route 39 Academy is state-funded and open to all. It has the same admissions policy as other schools, except without a ‘catchment area’. Parents of Year 6 children can change their school preference by calling My Devon on 0845 155 1019. More information is available at

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