Guy Martyn, the departing head teacher of Chichester Free School, has told of his sadness at leaving “such a special place”.
Mr Martyn spoke after announcing he will quit at the end of the term to take up up a new role as principal of an independent school in Essex from January of next year.
Jenny Clough, one of the school’s founders, has been named the school’s new interim head. Governors will appoint a permanent principal once the move to the new state-of-the-art school at the former Carmelite Convent in Hunston takes place this time next year.
While building work continues, the school pupils are being taught at a temporary site in the city’s Vinnetrow Business Park and what was Bartons County Infant School, North Bersted, Bognor
And Mr Martyn said: “I will be very sad to leave such a special place, and one which has been my main driver and focus for the best part of five years. But it is quite normal for heads and principals to move on to new and fresh challenges, and this is no different.
“I am delighted that the school is in such a strong place now after all the barriers and inconveniences we have had to face and overcome since even before we opened. The quality and belief in our vision has ensured that our children have a great education every day, and more than that, they’ve had an education in how to face adversity and succeed through resilience and creative innovation.
“The convent is well on the way to being built on time and will happen; our academic results in primary, and at GCSE are very strong indeed. I know it will seem strange that I am moving on before the convent will open, and will not be the principal when we first walk through the doors.
“But I wanted to get us there and I can move on from my position knowing that this will happen. In Jenny Clough we will have an exceptional individual with tremendous experience. Jenny has Chichester Free School in her bones as she was one of the proposers for the school from the earliest days and then became a governor.
“This couldn’t be a better appointment and I have every confidence that she will take the School forward in a manner which sits absolutely within the ethos and values which we know make it the unique place it is.”