THE headteacher of Bradon Forest School, in Purton, has announced he is retiring after 12 years in the job. Len Spiers will leave his post at Easter, so he can set up a business to help young people make informed career decisions.

Mr Spiers, 59, joined the school as its headteacher in 2001, but now feels he is ready for the next stage of his life.

“The time is right for me and the school to move on and hand over the baton to somebody else,” said Mr Spiers. “There are a number of factors that have come together and, with several strategic issues now resolved, the school can move forward with confidence.”

The head has spoken of his pride in his students and staff, saying the positive nature of everyone involved made his job a pleasure. “I am incredibly proud of all our students. People are often negative towards the youth of today and put them down, but the ability of our pupils, not just in terms of exam results, gives me great confidence for the future,” he said.

“I’m going to miss everything about the job. Probably most of all I will miss the can-do attitude of all the teachers and the face-to-face contact with everyone.”

He added: “This has been an incredibly hard choice to make. My close friends and family wanted me to make this decision a long time ago. It’ll be hard keeping my eyes dry on the last day.”

Mr Spiers had some advice for politicians who get involved in education: “They seem to make change for change’s sake. They should let the schools get on with it. Education isn’t just about exam results, but also about giving children a wide range of skills for life.”

Mr Spiers will still be helping Swindon’s next generation as he starts up a business that aims to go into schools offering careers advice.

“The new job will allow me to help these young people make the right decisions for their future,” he said.

The governing body has started its search for a replacement.