NOVA Hreod Academy will be seeing a mid-term change in the guard next month when two new headteachers replace current incumbent Julie Tridgell.

Mrs Tridgell announced in February her intention to leave the school, where she has been headteacher for the past six years.

Ben Parnell and Darren Barton, who are existing leads at Nova Hreod’s sister schools in the United Learning Group, the Glenmoor and Winton academies in Bournemouth, will join the school and replace Mrs Tridgell on May 1.

She said: “Although I have been considering taking some time out to refresh for a while, I wanted to wait until the time was right for Nova. I will be leaving a little earlier than I had originally thought, but now that the school is stable and secure I have decided it is the right time to move on.

“I am so pleased that two exceptional leaders have been identified to take the school on the next stage of its journey. I have met Mr Parnell and Mr Barton many times before, as they join us from other United Learning academies, and I know the school has a very positive future ahead of it.

“While it is never easy to say goodbye, especially as the past six years at Nova have been so rewarding, I know that everything is set for the school to thrive.”

Mr Barton will become Interim Principal and will be based full time at Nova Hreod, while Mr Parnell, as Interim Executive Principal, will be based at the school two days each week.

Together they will head up the school over the next year.

Mr Parnell said: “Mr Barton and I are delighted to be joining Nova Hreod Academy. We are particularly looking forward to getting to know students, parents and staff and working closely with them to provide the best possible education for local families.”

Following Mrs Tridgell’s announcement, the board of governors at the school have been working hard to ensure a smooth transition in the leadership.

Pat Porter, Chair of Governors at Nova Hreod, said: “Governors were closely involved in the decision and we voted unanimously in support of these arrangements. Mr Parnell and Mr Barton are working very closely with Mrs Tridgell to ensure a smooth transition and we are looking forward to a successful summer term at Nova Hreod.

“We wish Mrs Tridgell the very best for the next stage of her career and would like to put on the record our sincere thanks to her for leadership of the school over the past six years.”