THE new headteacher of a village primary school is determined to carry on the good work started under the leadership of former head Lorraine Colquhoun who decided to step down following a breast cancer relapse.

Sue Hulford, 46, found out last week that she had been chosen to become head of Rowde Primary School, near Devizes, after several months of being acting head.

She first joined the school as a class teacher three years ago after failing to get the job as deputy head. She said: "I just knew I wanted to work at Rowde so when I didn't get the deputy's job I decided to take a class position to get more experience.

"Not long after the deputy's role came up again and I applied and got it. I worked very closely with Lorraine and our vision for the school was the same. I am now determined to carry on taking things forward."

Miss Colquhoun, 49, returned to her post in Rowde in September 2016 after being diagnosed with a rare form of breast cancer in May 2015. She spoke out about inflammatory breast cancer to warn other women about the signs. She said at the time: "There is no lump with this form of the disease. It is just redness and soreness and can involve the skin looking pitted.

"If by me speaking about it can stop one woman having to go through the chemotherapy that I endured I will be delighted. It is very easy not to realise this is breast cancer as it is very rare. Everyone thinks of checking for lumps but women need to be aware of these symptoms as well."

The school raised thousands of pounds for breast cancer charities to show its support and was delighted when she was able to return. But last year the cancer returned and she faced more gruelling chemotherapy. She decided last term to take early retirement.

Chairman of the governors Jackie Bawden said she was delighted Mrs Hulford had been appointed. She said: "We had a large number of excellent applicants and a very good short list but Sue was outstanding."

Mrs Hulford, who is married with two girls at senior school, grew up in Sheffield and did her PGCE at Durham University. She moved to Wiltshire about 20 years ago and worked at a number of schools including Queens Crescent in Chippenham and St Nicholas in Bromham.

She said: "My father, who is a retired head, was particularly proud when I told him I had got the job. This is a wonderful school and I am so pleased that I am going to be able to carry on a number of projects including expanding our Forest School."

Mrs Hulford, a keen runner, has also introduced a club at the school so pupils can get regular exercise. The school is rated good by Ofsted and outstanding by church inspectors carrying out the Statutory Inspection of Anglican and Methodist Schools.

She said: "We want to consolidate our good Ofsted rating and continue being outstanding under SIAMS as the things it judges such as kindness and friendship are very much part of our ethos."