A POPULAR head teacher at a Stroud secondary school is set to retire after 12 years.

Colin Belford has been head at Archway School since 2007.

In a letter to parents, Mr Belford said he will retire at the end of April next year, giving governors the time to appoint his successor.

He said: “Whilst leaving such a wonderful school will be difficult, it is the right time for me to enjoy my retirement and new projects after working in Gloucestershire schools since 1984.

"I joined Archway as Deputy Head in 2000 and have been privileged to be Headteacher since 2007.

"I consider myself very lucky to have worked with so many talented individuals - students, staff and governors during my time in Gloucestershire and none more so than here at Archway.

"I have always enjoyed coming to work and there is never a day goes by when I do not get to see those talents on display.

"With your support, we have made a superb start to this academic year and I can assure you that we are all focused on ensuring that this continues.

"A change of headteacher can be unsettling but I know that the governors and the local authority will ensure that this will be a smooth process.

"In retiring in April, my hope is that the successful and privileged new headteacher will be able to get to know the school well and be settled in before the start of the new academic year in September 2020.

"Thank you all for your support over the years. I look forward to seeing you at our many events as the year progresses."