New headteacher of Chippenham's Abbeyfield School announced

New Abbeyfield School head Ian Tucker with year seven pupils. (PM1218) Picture by Paul Morris

New Abbeyfield School head Ian Tucker with year seven pupils. (PM1218) Picture by Paul Morris

First published in News by , Senior reporter

Ian Tucker has been announced as the new headteacher of Abbeyfield School in Chippenham from September.

Mr Tucker, 42, is coming from an associate headteacher position at Rushden Community College in Northamptonshire, where he was on secondment.

Rushden is an 11-18 school of a similar size to Abbeyfield and, like Abbeyfield, was last year converted to an academy sponsored by the Educational Fellowship.

Mr Tucker lives in Malmesbury with his wife, who teaches at a Swindon primary school, and their two sons, aged 10 and 13, and eight-year-old daughter, all of whom go to school in Malmesbury.

He is already known in several Wiltshire schools. Brought up in Ilkley, West Yorkshire, Mr Tucker’s 21 years in the teaching profession began as a teacher in Bradford, West Yorkshire and later in Swindon.

Mr Tucker then became deputy head at Woodborough Primary School in Pewsey and went on to have two headships at primary schools, first at Lyneham Junior School for four years, and then from 2006, at St Mary’s CE Primary School in Purton for six years.

Mr Tucker, who visited Abbeyfield yesterday and spoke to a group of year sevens, said it was very important to him to be known as a “hands-on and a highly visible” headteacher.

He said: “Both the students and the community will see plenty of me and I intend to prioritise getting to know what makes this tremendous school and area tick.

“Over the coming weeks and months I look forward to working with the leadership team and the governors so that when I arrive in September, I can hit the ground running.”

He said he would be setting “really high expectations” in terms of academic achievement and behaviour, but he does believe in having an academic and vocational balance and said he would be developing the school’s links with both local universities and colleges.

Michele Blain, Abbeyfield’s chair of governors, said: “As an experienced headteacher, Mr Tucker comes with a significant track record of leadership in both secondary and primary phases.

“We are all looking forward to a new exciting period in the journey of our school.”

After eight years at Abbeyfield, three of those as head, David Nicholson will be taking up a new headship at Costello School in Basingstoke, Hampshire, which has 1,300 pupils compared to Abbeyfield’s 750.

He leaves Abbeyfield with a ‘good’ rating by Ofsted.

Mr Tucker will be available to meet prospective parents at the year seven induction evening on Monday, July 14.

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