MORE than 1,200 pupils at Melksham Oak Community School will greet their new headteacher in September.

The White Horse Federation in Swindon, which took over the running of the school from the Academy Trust of Melksham (ATOM) last August, has appointed Alan Henderson as the school’s new principal.

Mr Henderson was previously principal at John O’ Gaunt School, a mixed comprehensive school in Hungerford for pupils aged 11-16.

It was Berkshire’s first community school and Mr Henderson had been its principal for four successful years.

He is moving to a school which is more than twice the size of his previous one, and will also be taking on the responsibility of a sixth form at Melksham.

He replaces interim principal Aidan Blowers, who returns to his previous position of vice principal, having been in charge of the school since December, when former principal Stephen Clark retired.

Mr Henderson aims to lead the continued progress made at the school over recent years and build on the changes implemented by Mr Blowers, which include a new school uniform which is also being being introduced in September.

He said: “I’m thrilled to be appointed to the role of principal at Melksham Oak. I see such enormous potential within the staff and students of the school.

“I look forward to working with everyone involved with the school, and The White Horse Federation, to deliver outstanding results.”

Melksham Oak Community School is part of The White Horse Federation multi-academy trust, which is responsible for 32 schools across Swindon, Wiltshire, Gloucester, Oxfordshire, and Berkshire.

Simon Cowley, The White Horse Federation’s Regional Director for Wiltshire, said: “We’re looking forward to having Alan as the new principal of Melksham Oak.

“We’ve seen through his previous work that he has the leadership skills to continue the growth of the school.

“His shared vision for values-based education will raise standards for all and we look forward to hearing positive feedback from the community as he establishes himself within the role.”

Seven other ATOM schools in the Melksham area also joined the White Horse Federation Multi-Academy Trust last year.

They are the Bowerhill Primary School, Forest and Sandridge CE Primary School, Seend Church of England Primary School, Shaw Church of England Primary School, St George’s School in Semington, St Mary’s Broughton Gifford Primary School and The Manor School.