A NEWLY appointed head teacher has returned to his native North-East with a pledge to give pupils an outstanding education.

Andrew Ramsey, the former head teacher at Newlands Academy, London, has taken over the reins at St Michael’s Catholic Academy, Billingham.

The school, which was given notice to improve in April 2012, has undergone a series of radical changes including joining the Carmel Education Trust.

“This year celebrates the 50th anniversary of St Michael’s,” said 50-year-old Mr Ramsey, who is originally from Consett, County Durham.

“Being part of the Carmel Education Trust not only marks a new start for the academy but also for myself and I have been absolutely overwhelmed by the warmth of welcome I have received from students, staff and the local community.”

Graduating from Surrey University, with a BA Hons in music and piano performance, Mr Ramsey was appointed as music teacher at Westminster Cathedral where he worked for six years, accompanying musical tours across Europe and America.

Following a year living and playing music in Italy, he returned to the UK to train as a teacher for children with special needs.

Speaking of the challenge ahead, he said: “Yes, the school has gone through a painful time recently but now we must build on its achievements and establish a new exciting future which puts the whole school community at its heart.”