John of Gaunt headteacher Andy Packer is leaving the Trowbridge school in July to seek a fresh challenge.

Mr Packer, 56, has been at the school in Wingfield Road, which has 1,300 pupils, for 10 years.

He does not have a new job lined up, but intends to remain in education

He said: “It was a tough decision and the easy option would have been to see another couple of years out and stop all together but I felt this was the right time to apply my 34 years of teaching experience somewhere new.”

Mr Packer also wants to spend more time with his wife Juliet and children Lily, 18, and Joe, 15.

He said: “I’m looking forward to having some freedom. I’d quite like to do some more mountain walking and, of course, take advantage of some cheaper flight deals when we go away.”

He has many happy memories of John of Gaunt and was delighted the school received a good rating in its Ofsted inspection last month. In an inspection last April Ofsted said it ‘required improvement’.

He said: “John of Gaunt is in a very strong place at the minute and the Ofsted report supports that. What is more important to me is that the children in the school have smiles on their faces and form good relationships with staff.”

Mr Packer, who lives near Calne, said: “I’ve done everything I can to help this school grow and now it is time to hand over the baton.

“I’d like to thank the pupils, parents, staff and my governing body, who have all helped make this school a much better place than I first came to.

“I’ve worked in four schools and I’ve never worked anywhere as special as John of Gaunt. I love this school in the same way you love your children.”

The school is interviewing for a new headteacher.