Hazel Simmons has joined the Ipswich school from her current role as headteacher at Broadlands Hall School, near Haverhill, and will start in September.

Mrs Simmons entered education in her 40s from a business and commerce background and then decided to specialise in special education.
Mrs Simmons, who led Broadlands to a ‘Good’ Ofsted rating, said: “I had been a visitor to The Bridge School on a couple of occasions and I was always struck by the commitment and dedication of staff, students, parents and the wider community.

“I know what high regard the school has been held in and I look forward to working with everyone to ensure it is the best school it can be.
“In my previous career in business and commerce, I wasn’t always satisfied from an emotional point of view. But I have found my passion in education, especially in the area of special education.”

In December, the school joined the Unity Schools Partnership and Mrs Simmons said this would further improve education.

Having worked at two other trust schools, Newmarket Academy and Thomas Gainsborough School, Mrs Simmons said: “I know the trust are placing a high priority on special education and this will only further enhance what we can achieve at The Bridge School.

“With work on a new secondary school building starting, alongside a fantastic building for primary education, and a passionate and skilled set of staff, there is so much opportunity to make this a school everyone can be proud of.”
Tim Coulson, chief executive of the Unity Schools Partnership, said: “Hazel was the outstanding candidate among a strong set of applicants and we look forward to supporting her to achieve the best possible education for all at The Bridge School.”