AFTER more than 10 years at the top, headteacher Steve Flavin will leave Churchfields Academy this Easter having left his mark on the school.

When Steve joined the school 12 years ago, it was in special measures and described as failing. The most recent Ofsted inspection judged the school as good with outstanding features, thanks to the hard work of Steve and his colleagues.

In March, he will leave to pursue a career in school improvement.

He said he will miss the pupils and staff but believes the school is now in a brilliant position, with examination results increased from 21 per cent A* to C to 89 per cent in 2012.

“For me, being the head of Churchfields has been a fantastic journey,” he said.

“I’ve been so grateful for all the support I’ve received from parents and students and the staff as a whole and I know the school will go on to enjoy the greatest success.

“I think the secret to our success is an unrelenting focus on the classroom, putting teachers and quality teaching and quality education first.

“Lots of things happen in schools but I am passionate and driven to improve the quality of teaching.

“When that is right, all the other things fall into place. We’ve got some of the best teachers in the country at Churchfields.

“When I took over the school it was a big challenge. The school was in special measures and failing, the results were very low, behaviour was a real problem, so it was a huge challenge to turn the school around.

“I’ll miss the pupils the most – you take them for granted, you get used to them because they are there every day, but I will really miss them.”

Paul Gregory, chairman of the Academy Board, has worked with Steve since 2007. He said: “Steve has displayed an outstanding capacity to respond to pressure and manage change.

“His real success has been in driving up educational standards.

“More and more students are leaving our school and progressing to further and higher education.

“National Results Tables publishe this week show that Churchfields Academy is one of the top performing schools in Swindon and provides exceptional value added for its students.”

During his time at the school, Steve was set the task of developing a Federation between Churchfields and three of the local primary schools.

The Great Western Learning Federation was successfully launched in September 2012 and provides a strong foundation platform for further expansion and development.

Paul said: “As the Chair of the Academy Board, and on behalf of the other Academy Directors, I would like to take this opportunity of thanking Steve for his fantastic work and the many achievements during the 12 years that he has led the school.”

Deputy headteacher Sharon Kirwan has been appointed as the acting headteacher and the board hope to appoint a permanent replacement in December.