Matt Waterfield has been confirmed as principal of Emmanuel College in Gateshead following a national recruitment campaign.

Mr Waterfield has been head of school at Emmanuel since last September having previously been a senior vice principal. He joined the college in 2008 as a senior teacher with responsibility for curriculum and assessment.

Mr Waterfield, who is from the North East and graduated in archaeology at the University of Newcastle before training to be a teacher, takes over from Jonathan Winch.

Throughout its 25 year history, Emmanuel has been judged as outstanding by Ofsted – one of very few schools nationally to maintain a top rating in multiple, consecutive inspections – and is the top non-selective state school in Tyneside at GCSE and A level.

Mr Waterfield said: “With Emmanuel’s record of achievement it’s important for parents, students and staff that stability is maintained. I feel very privileged to be principal and believe that my appointment ensures continuity of purpose and our desire to provide the very best education within the context of a clear Christian ethos to students of all abilities from inner city Gateshead and the west end of Newcastle.

“I am very proud of what the college has achieved during its 25 years and have thoroughly enjoyed the eight years that I have been here. I shall now work to identify any areas where we can improve still further in preparing our students for adult life, with the support of parents and a team of extremely talented and dedicated teachers and support staff.”

Last year Mr Winch, who was principal for 12 years, accepted an invitation from governors to become executive principal of the Emmanuel Schools Foundation, giving him oversight of educational outcomes across ESF’s four schools and supporting their principals.

Mr Winch, who was recognised in 2014 as a National Leader of Education, said: “Mr Waterfield has made an outstanding contribution to the development of Emmanuel College over the past eight years and was a unanimous choice for principal following a rigorous national recruitment process.

“He is supported by an exceptional management team and passionate and committed teachers at Emmanuel, whom it has been my privilege to lead. The college is in excellent hands and I look forward to it continuing to flourish in the years to come.”