A HEADTEACHER is standing down at this end of this year due to the schools restructure in Ilminster and Crewkerne.

Mark Walker, headteacher at Swanmead Community School, will be leaving the post at the end of the Autumn term (December 2021).

He wrote with 'the heaviest heart' to inform parents and students earlier this week.

"You will all be aware that, over the next twelve months, education in Ilminster will change with the closure of the two existing schools (Swanmead and Greenfylde) and the formation of a new primary school opening in September 2022," he said.

"In order to allow for the governance and leadership of the new school to prepare without distraction, I have made the decision to leave my post at this time in order to pursue other ventures in school leadership and educational improvement.

"Sometimes things occur which lead you to seriously consider other challenges and ideas you have thought about professionally – for me the time to do that feels like it should be now."

The schools restructure plan was approved earlier this year, and will mean that education in Ilminster and Crewkerne will change from a three-tier system to a two-tier system.

Under the new plans, Wadham School will become a secondary school; Maiden Beech, Ashlands, St Bartholomew’s, Merriott and Haselbury Plucknett will become primary schools; Swanmead and Greenfylde will amalgamate and become a primary school and Misterton school is set to close.

READ MORE: Schools restructure plans in Crewkerne and Ilminster approved

Mr Walker has been headteacher at the Ilminster school for 10 years.

He said it has been a 'privilege' to lead 'such an amazing school'.

"Throughout my time here, I have been very fortunate to work with countless amounts of wonderful people, many brilliant teachers and support colleagues and many incredibly talented, charming, inspirational young people," he added.

"When the time comes, saying farewell to my colleagues and your children will be incredibly difficult."

However, he also added in the letter that in September it will be 'business as usual' despite the leadership changes which can be 'unsettling'.