HOLYROOD Academy has welcomed a new head teacher and his mission statement is a simple one – to further enhance the school and continue the good work of his predecessor.

Martin Brook, 48, took over the reins last week after moving to the West Country with his wife and two children from Nottingham-shire, where he was head at Carlton Academy.

The school has about 1,200 students and Mr Brook has taken over from Maurice Hicks, who spent 14 years there.

Mr Brook said he hopes to keep improving the school to give youngsters in the Chard area the best possible start in life.

He said: “I am lucky to be inheriting a very good group of staff and students passed down by Mr Hicks – everyone has been very welcoming and friendly.

“I am not looking to change things massively in the first few weeks and months but I am looking at ways to make small improvements and stamp my own personality on the school.

“The first job is to make sure that the school remains outstanding and continues to improve its exam results year on year.

“The sixth form is also very important to me because I want us to see the school as a seven-year journey with students hopefully going on to successful universities.”

Mr Brook’s love of the area stems from his time in Exeter when he spent his early career as a PE teacher after graduating from St Luke’s in 1988.

His wife, Nicky, son Sam, 13, and daughter Caitie, ten, moved to Ottery St Mary, just inside the Devon border, just before Christmas.

Mr Brook said his longer term vision is to make Holyrood become a centre of educational excellence so that it is known not just in Chard but across the South-West.

He said: “I have always loved the area, so when an opportunity to move down here with a job at an outstanding school, it was something we as a family had to take.”