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Former nurse heads up new £3m school in Torbay

By Herald Express  |  Posted: October 13, 2012

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THE first principal has been chosen for the new health professional training centre in Torbay.

Katherine Davis-Wills, 33, will head up the Devon Studio School — the new £3million venture which is opening in the grounds of Torbay Hospital next year.

It is one of just 15 approved by the Government to open across the country in 2013 and the only one in the South West.

Katherine was formerly head of health, social care, children and young people and public services at South Devon College.

Educated at Torquay Girls' Grammar School, Kings College London and currently studying towards a Professional Doctorate at University of Bath, Katherine returned to Torbay in 2002 to work as a registered nurse at Torbay Hospital, becoming involved with education through NHS clinical skills training and mentoring.

She said: "I am delighted to have been given the opportunity to shape the future of learning in the area, providing young people with a new way to learn and Torbay employers with the work-ready employees they need for a successful and healthy future.

"We will offer a curriculum for key stage 4 and sixth form for young people who are dedicated to a career in health, social care and related fields.

"Alongside GCSE and A-Level subjects, learning will be done through core projects involving practical and applied learning. This will be linked to the local community and local employers, rather than theoretical, classroom-based work. "

Paula Vasco-Knight, chief executive of, Torbay and Southern Devon Health and Care NHS Trust, said: "Katherine's background as a registered nurse at Torbay Hospital and the joint projects she has worked on in partnership with the hospital and the college, make her the ideal person for the principal role."

The campus will be a purpose-designed 300 place school for 14-19 year olds. An information for parents and carers event is being held at South Devon College on Wednesday October 17.

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