THERE will be no new face for pupils at Royal Wootton Bassett Academy to adjust to when the new head starts work, for Anita Ellis is the current deputy head of the school at Lime Kiln.

Current head George Croxford will become CEO of the academy once she takes over.

The mum of six-year-old Elin has been married for 11 years to Clare Ellis and is excited to be taking on the new role.

Anita said: “I’m proud to be the school’s first female headteacher. It feels good to be a role model.”

She started working at the school almost two decades ago in 2001 as a newly-qualified teacher of history and sociology.

She has held the post as deputy head for eight years, and said: “I am over the moon. I’ve been here a long time, and quite honestly this is a dream come true.

“You work hard every day to do your best, and leave at the end of the day hoping what you have done has really helped your students.

“To have that culminating in such an exciting opportunity is amazing, and I feel honoured.”

When she’s not working she enjoys training, running and walking her golden retriever Buzz.

Mr Croxford has led the school since 2010 and was shortlisted for the best secondary school headteacher in 2019 by the Pearson National Teaching Awards.

RWBA was rated as one of the best schools in the whole of the south west region three years ago in The Sunday Times, when it came 19th out of the top 20 for the region.

Mr Croxford said: “This is a fabulous appointment.

“Anita is exactly the right person to take the school further now, and having worked with her I know the trajectory will be onwards and upwards.

“The staff are delighted that she has got the job, and so am I.”

Ms Ellis was appointed by a panel including Marion Sweet who is the RWBA Trust chairman, academy governing body chairman Olivia Thomas and Sandra Muir, headteacher of Lawn Manor Academy in Swindon.

RWBA partially closed last Wednesday after Mr Croxford went into self-isolation because of the coronavirus.

It is now completely closed, along with schools across the county.

Ms Ellis said that although the school had anticipated 40 pupils arriving for school on Monday only 11 came in.

She said: “Clearly the message to remain at home unless you absolutely have to come into school had made an impact.”