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First fast track headteacher appointed

The deputy head of Charles Dickens Primary School in Lant Street has become headteacher at another Southwark school under a fast track scheme. Liz Robinson only qualified as a teacher in 2002.

Schools Minister Jacqui Smith has congratulated Liz Robinson on her appointment as head teacher at the Surrey Square primary school.

Liz, 29, is the first Fast Track teacher to be offered a headship since the programme's inception in 2000. She enrolled in the first intake of qualified teachers in 2002, before becoming an assistant head at Charles Dickens Primary School in September 2003 and then deputy head in March 2005.

The programme, now open to qualified teachers only, was launched as part of an on-going drive to modernise the teaching profession in England. Fast Track is an 'accelerated leadership development programme' designed to help the most talented teachers progress towards the top leadership roles in education.

"I would like to congratulate Liz Robinson on her achievement," said Jacqui Smith. "The Fast Track Teaching programme allows exceptional teachers to progress at a rate that suits their ability and not their age.

"Good leadership in our schools is vital and is at the heart of raising standards and improving behaviour. This scheme gives teachers like Liz Robinson, who have shown they have got the skills that it takes to lead a school, the support, training and opportunities they need to progress to the top."

Speaking about her recent promotion, Liz said: "I am naturally very pleased to have been offered the Headteacher's role and I'm extremely excited about getting started in January. Since becoming a teacher I have always wanted be a head and the leadership and management training, coupled with the individual support offered by the Fast Track programme has allowed me to realise my potential as early as possible."

Last week Liz's boss at Charles Dickens School, headteacher Liz Owens, was named teacher of the year at the Pride of Britain Awards.

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