Founding head to leave Midhurst Rother College

Midhurst Rother College principal Dr Joe Vitagliano
Midhurst Rother College principal Dr Joe Vitagliano

The man credited with taking the old Midhurst Grammar School from zero to hero as the new Midhurst Rother College academy, has announced he is to leave.

Dr Joe Vitagliano was appointed principal of the new Midhurst Rother College academy in 2009.

He is to take up a new post as senior education advisor for United Learning’s central office team in September

He took over the brand new academy, one of only 24 in England at that

time, and ran it in buildings past their prime, while all around the staff and pupils, a new £31m school was being built.

It opened in September 2012 with an official ceremony by Lord Andrew Adonis the following April.

The former grammar school had been placed in ‘special measures’ by Ofsted inspectors in March 2006.

It was cleared in September 2007 following a series of inspections.

But it then went through a rocky two years while the future of the school was debated.

From starting the academy in uncertain circumstances, Dr Joe took it to new heights when it was rated ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted inspectors in 2013.

Announcing his intention to take up his new post in September, Dr Joe told parents: “The college is now the school of choice in our area - a far cry from the position in 2009.”

He added: “I would like to say thank you now to the countless number of parents who have given me their wholehearted support in making Midhurst Rother College a school we can all be proud of.”

Don’t miss out on all the latest breaking news where you live.

Here are four ways you can be sure you’ll be amongst the first to know what’s going on.

1) Make our website your homepage at

2) Like our Facebook page at

3) Follow us on Twitter @mid_pet_obs

4) Register with us by clicking on ‘sign in’ (top right corner). You can then receive our daily newsletter AND add your point of view to stories that you read here.

And do share with your family and friends - so they don’t miss out!

The Midhurst and Petworth Observer - always the first with your local news.

Be part of it.