The principal of Route 39 Academy is leaving the school for a new role, just weeks after an Ofsted report which said the free school needs improvement. Joss Hayes has accepted a new role as principal and CEO at the Isle of Portland Community Academy (IPCA). Jordan Kelly, current assistant principal, will become acting principal in the autumn term. Mrs Hayes said: Accepting the offer was an incredibly difficult decision as this is the most vibrant and wonderful place I have ever worked. But it was eased by the confidence that leadership and governance across Route 39 Academy are very strong and that the ethos of the school is firmly established. Last week the Gazette revealed how North Devons first free school was marked as needs improvement by Ofsted. Addressing parents to announce his new role, Mr Kelly said: My experience in leadership in multiple school settings has allowed me to develop a strong and purposeful ethos for education - one that is totally aligned to the vision of Route 39 Academy. Shaping children into responsible young adults with a love of learning is paramount to my approach. He added: I would like to take this opportunity to thank Mrs Hayes for the incredible impact she has had in establishing Route 39 Academy as a vibrant and engaging arena for the learning and development of our students. The work we have completed over the last academic year to drive constant improvement of all aspects of the Academy will continue under my leadership. John Tizard, chair of Govenors at IPCA, said: Joss will take up her appointment full time by January 2016, but meanwhile she will steer the strategic development of IPACA. She hopes to start to meet and talk with learners, staff, parents and carers, and local the local community at theearliest opportunity.