David Gartland

”Developing a culture of high expectations For website.JPGacross staff and students, setting challenging targets for everyone and working in a supportive environment to achieve them” is one of the secrets to running a successful school, according to the newly appointed Principal.  

David will step down as Principal of Lowestoft Sixth Form College and take the lead role at Abbeygate in September 2018. He has an impressive record of inspiring educational success, leaving Lowestoft Sixth Form as the highest performing sixth form college in the country according to the Department for Education.

He puts the success down to, “Hugely dedicated teaching and support staff. Everyone knowing their role and what they are to do. So that’s having subject specialists to teach their subjects and to teach them well and having a support framework in place so the students can focus on their studies. A culture and a model I plan to emulate in Abbeygate”.

“Whether you’re in southwest London, Bury St Edmunds, Newcastle or Lowestoft there are a lot of distractions for young people. When they come to College, I want it to be a safe, supportive, aspiring environment that enables them to achieve”.

“I’m absolutely thrilled to be taking on the role of Principal at Abbeygate. There is a real drive in the area for it to be a success. It is a partnership project in the true sense of the word, with a range of educational professionals working together to provide a new sixth form college to serve the community.  That is a great environment to start from and work in.

David, who hails from Durham, is married and has two teenage children.  He went to University in London, studying Sport Science and Teaching. He did a number of teaching placements in London and loved it enough to end up staying in the City after graduating.  However, after 15 years living in the capital, he and his family relocated to Framlingham.

David is proud to be leaving his current College in a rock solid position.  The Sixth Form has an impressive 100 per cent A Level pass rate and 100 per cent BTEC pass rate, and he admits it was a difficult decision to leave, “The opportunity to set up a new college (Abbeygate) from scratch, was an opportunity I couldn’t turn down.  I’ve been lucky to have already had that experience with Lowestoft, so I know the positives as well as the challenges and I hope to bring all I’ve learnt with me.  But I have lived and breathed Lowestoft Sixth Form College and it will always have a special place in my heart “.

So what does he want for Abbeygate Sixth Form College? “An outstanding culture for staff and students, everyone going the extra mile and never giving up, no matter what the difficulties are.  A culture that stretches the students academically and is coupled with excellent pastoral support to help them develop the strength of character to navigate all challenges”

"We are lucky that our young people live in a great part of the world, but the world is a big place and they should get out to explore it. Our job as educators is to help prepare them for it both academically as well as personally.

He said, “We will look after you for two years, but after that it’s time to progress, but we will give you the tools, knowledge, experience and confidence to go on and make a positive contribution to society. Abbeygate Sixth Form College will be an incredible springboard for these young people to embrace the world”.

David says his love for teaching was inspired by his own sixth form experience. “One of the teachers in particular showed me how great teaching could be as a profession and right from the start I loved it. Watching a young person get something or argue with you about a subject because they are so engaged is the best feeling in the world”.

“I genuinely love working in sixth form colleges. I’ve seen the transformational power they have for social mobility, and the opportunity to help people achieve their potential”.

David will now be involved in all aspects of creating the new college, from the interior layout to finalising the curriculum to staff recruitment.  “I want parents and students to know that Abbeygate Sixth Form College will become part of this community and all connected will have the opportunity to shape its culture. But mostly I just want parents and students to know that we will offer high quality teaching and high quality support, so every young person who comes through our doors has the chance to do their best".