PUBLIC services are creaking and our politicians need to look at infrastructure and the funding of state schools which in Wiltshire has become a major issue due to the financing model.

That was a message that Ian Tucker, the new headteacher of St John's Academy in Marlborough wanted to get across when he spoke to the Gazette last week.

"Wiltshire is poorly funded," he said, "when it comes to education, which is why along with other headteachers in the county we have to lobby the Government for more resources."

Despite a lack of resources, St John's is set to become a "powerful" school he said as there is a rich potential in the students, the catchment area and the staff.

The catchment area means the community outside of the school he said, which means reaching out and building bridges with the town council, Marlborough College, the police, residents and the town in general.

One of the reasons he said was the wider malaise in society affecting young people in society from mental health, drugs and County lines and anti-social behaviour all of which he took seriously at the school and the reason to reach out to partner agencies and the community.

"We are in a great position at the school," he said, "with some phenomenal achievements including our equestrian team, netball teams and football teams progressing in the county competitions.

"We had a lad who has won a rock climbing award and another student winning in weight lifting."

With a large sixth form and 1,700 students the school has a huge reach in the area drawing students from across the region.

"It's a very varied demographic," he said, "which is a strength as we represent the whole community. But we are not complacent and we must continue to market the school and celebrate its successes."

Mr Tucker is married to a teacher, has three children and lives in Malmesbury.