A NEW headteacher who has taken over the reins at Rednock School has spoken about his excitement after recently joining the school.

Headteacher Mike Stratford has taken over from former head David Alexander, who had been at the secondary school in Dursley for nearly two decades.

Father-of-two Mr Stratford was previously the deputy head at Cheltenham Bournside School, where he had worked since 2012.

Mr Stratford, a former PE teacher, said in a statement that he was 'excited' to establish an 'ambitious culture’ at the school and hoped to continue Mr Alexander's 'fantastic work'.

He also stated that he was a huge rugby fan, volunteering with his son's local under-10s team and is a 'proud' Gloucester Rugby supporter.

“It is my privilege to introduce myself as the new headteacher of Rednock School,” he said. 

“After my first ever visit to the school in April, it was clear that Rednock was a special place. 

"Its vision that ‘everyone matters’ resonated with me immediately. I knew then that I must apply for the role. 

“Fast forward a few months, I am now in post, excited about leading Rednock through its next stage of development. 

Stroud News and Journal: New headteacher Mike Stratford has started at Rednock SchoolNew headteacher Mike Stratford has started at Rednock School (Image: Rednock School)

“I have been a senior leader for over a decade at Cheltenham Bournside - Gloucestershire’s largest secondary school, prior to accepting the role at Rednock. 

“I loved my time at Bournside, and it would have taken a special school to make me consider leaving. Rednock was that school.

“I join Rednock with an educational belief that every child is unique, and that their welfare, happiness, and success is our school’s priority. 

“Every child deserves to be safe, enjoy school, and be given every opportunity to achieve their potential. 

“I am excited about leading our exceptionally committed staff to establish an ambitious culture which centres around care, challenge, and aspiration. 

“Rednock is rightly proud to be at the heart of its community. 

“David Alexander, previous headteacher, led our school through a complete rebuild and expertly navigated the school and community through some of the most challenging times in education. 

“I take the reins with humility and hope to continue his fantastic work. 

“Creating an ambitious school where a community ‘loves where it learns’ will be my priority.

“Away from education, I am a proud Gloucester Rugby fan, but prouder father to Darcy and Ben, and husband to Nicola. 

“Many of my leadership decisions in school start with the premise: “is it good enough for my children?”, which I have found to be a good test when making decisions. I am a keen sportsman, having played local rugby in my early career. 

“However, Saturday matches have been replaced by my daughter’s football and tennis lessons. 

“Where I once played rugby, I now volunteer at my local club where I coach my son and the mighty U10s! 

“I very much enjoy being outdoors with my family and Labrador – Milo. 

“Whenever we can, we escape in our VW camper van, heading to the coast to enjoy walking, surfing, and paddleboarding, and this summer was no exception. 

“But, with the summer holidays becoming a distant memory, now starts the work to make Rednock the very best school it can be. 

“A school the community deserves. I can’t wait.

“If you would like to visit our school and see the amazing work that happens each and every day, please contact us. We would love to welcome you as part of our community.”

Rednock students in years 7 and 12 are scheduled to return to school tomorrow, Tuesday, September 5, with students in all other year groups returning on Wednesday, September 6.

Members of the community are invited to meet Mr Stratford and tour the school at its opening evening next week on Wednesday, September 13.