FORMER Clarendon Academy head Mark Stenton will return to the helm in September, following the collapse of the trust which manages it.

The Trowbridge school is currently in a period of limbo as it looks for a new sponsor, after the announcement in March that The Education Fellowship Trust is to give up 12 schools including Clarendon.

Mr Stenton was promoted to the board of the trust after turning the school around and taking it out of special measures – but in 2011 he was suspended for having a widely publicised affair with a married secretary.

Yvonne Jorden, who has led the school since Mr Stenton’s promotion in 2015, will retire at the end of the school year.

Mr Stenton said: “I am delighted to be returning to Clarendon Academy as headteacher.

“We achieved a great deal between 2011-2015 and I know that Mrs Jorden and the team have worked incredibly hard over the last two years.

“These are significant and exciting times for Clarendon as we work with the DfE to find the very best sponsor for the school, going forward to ensure excellence in secondary school education for children in Trowbridge and surrounding villages.

“Having been back to the school a number of times in the last month I have been struck by an extremely warm welcome from staff, students and parents.

“We all believe that Clarendon Academy has the potential to become an outstanding school in the future and we have a shared determination to make that happen.

“My focus now, and for the rest of my headship career, is on achieving sustained excellence at Clarendon for many years ahead.”

The news shocked Trowbridge Grove councillor Geoff Whiffen.

He said: “I’m surprised to hear he’s coming back, but he was a good headteacher when he was at the school and he certainly made it look a lot smarter.

“As far as I’m concerned he now has to prove himself that he can concentrate on the school and not let personal circumstances get in the way in order to take Clarendon forward.”

School governor Jason Lucas said: “I think it’s the right decision for the school; he was a good leader before and got the school out of special measures.

“When he rejoins he will carry out a review of what is needed before getting on with the job as we search for a new sponsor.

“With regards to previous incidents involving Mark, I don’t think it would be appropriate to comment."