A SCHOOL has praised its outgoing head for his tenacity as he takes on a new challenge.

Niall McWilliams, pictured, left Carterton Community College on Friday and will start at The Oxford Academy next Monday.

Mr McWilliams was announced as the head of the new school late last year.

Iain Bilton will be acting headteacher at the college in the meantime.

The school, in Upavon Way, Carterton, is hoping to take on post-16 learners from this September.

It has been consulting with the community for the past few weeks and the consultation ends today.

In a statement, the school said: “Niall has brought a clearly developed sense of working for social justice – by which he means that every pupil deserves the best chance to do well, the best teaching they can get with the best conditions available.

“This is why he has battled for resources, argued for the fairest school transport arrangements and set in motion post-16 education so at last Carterton’s pupils will have the choice to stay on for their Sixth Form from September 2014.

“Niall is an exceptional character. He is able to communicate as well with a pupil in Year 8 as he is with the Prime Minister – to him both have equal importance.

“He will take his tenacity and pursuit of the best opportunities with him to The Oxford Academy – and we wish him all the very best in his new job.”