RETIRING head teacher Tim Heath is going back to the classroom but as a student rather than a teacher.

For Mr Heath, 59, who left Nursteed Primary School, Devizes this week is to study for a masters degree in fine art at Bath Spa University from September.

He said: “It is a complete change of subject for me. I studied physics at Oxford but my son recently completed a fine art degree so you could say I am following in his footsteps.

“He enjoyed it so much that I decided to follow suit and I am really looking forward to it. I took up art a few years ago as a hobby and it will be fantastic to be able to fully concentrate on it.”

Mr Heath, who is married with two grown-up children, joined Nursteed Primary in 2006 when the school was just four years old. He has been a teacher for more than 30 years but started his career in a secondary school teaching science.

But he realised that he liked working with younger children and made the swap to primary education and worked at Charter primary in Chippenham and then at St Nicholas, Bromham.

He was pleased to be given the challenge of taking on the headship at the much bigger Nursteed primary and has seen it grow.

He said: “I am pleased to be leaving Nursteed in a good position. Running a primary school these days is a challenge and can be a bit of a rollercoaster as far as SATs and Ofsted inspections go.”

He said he had tried to make sure pupils had time for activities not tested such as sport, drama and residential visits.

“It is all about trying to keep the balance,” he said. “Memories are made on the Year 6 trip that often stay with children for life.” When older children come back into school it is often the thing they mention.”

He said he would miss his excellent staff team and the company of the children. Kay Vousden is moving from Lea & Garsden primary to take over the headship in September. Mr Heath said: “I know she will do a superb job.”