A Wiltshire headteacher says it will be “hard” to leave the school after announcing his departure earlier this year.

Jason Tudor has been the head at Calne’s Kingsbury Green Academy, formerly John Bentley School, for the last nine years.

But the 48-year-old will depart at the end of the school year after taking a senior role with Excalibur Academies Trust.

Mr Tudor told this paper he was “dreading” saying goodbye to the school.

He said: “I’ve never worked anywhere longer than I’ve worked here, and that fact says more than anything else.

“I certainly wouldn’t have left this school to take over another one, because I’ve been invested here for a long time, but the opportunity I’m taking is few and far between.

“It’s hard to say goodbye, I’m dreading leaving the people I’ve worked with for nine years.”

Jason Tudor outside the John Bentley School before its conversion to Kingsbury Green AcademyJason Tudor outside the John Bentley School before its conversion to Kingsbury Green Academy

After nearly a decade in the role, Mr Tudor believes he is leaving the town’s secondary school in a stronger position than he found it.

In that time, the school joined what is now the Ascend Learning Trust and improved its Ofsted rating from ‘Requires Improvement’ to ‘Good’ in 2022.

Kingsbury Green has also enjoyed significant growth from 700 pupils to 1,100.

Mr Tudor says this was sparked by increased trust between the school and parents.

He added: “The school has changed beyond all recognition and not just because of the name.

“When I started you would see kids leaving Calne on a bus to go to one of the Chippenham schools and that just doesn’t happen anymore.

“The parents now trust the school enough to send their children here because they know they’ll get a good deal… that took time, but we invested in the people working here and reinvigorated the school.

“People might expect me to talk about the Ofsted rating, but I’m most proud of the fact the community we serve now trusts the school.”

Jason Tudor at the launch of Kingsbury Green AcademyJason Tudor at the launch of Kingsbury Green Academy

This growth has created greater financial stability and allowed investment in improved equipment.

Staff have predicted this year will be the school’s “best ever” exam results and Mr Tudor believes pupils’ aspirations have grown in recent years.

He said: “The kids give you everything, they’re so open and warm.

“There’s potentially been a lack of aspiration in towns like Calne and it was great to try and turn that around.

“Kids have told me they’re the first person in their family to join the armed force or go to university, you can see the benefits and impact of your work here.”