THE headteacher of a Gwent high school has announced his retirement after 14 years in the role.

John Kendall, head of Risca Community Comprehensive, has made the announcement, stating that "it was always my intention to retire when I reached my 60th birthday".

"Two years ago I shared with my senior colleagues that it was my intention," he said.

"Last December I also shared this with the senior governors and senior officers of the LEA.

"I had planned to confirm this in December of this year and to let the community know in January 2023."

Mr Kendall alluded to a recent Estyn inspection, which had "quite rightly left us with some recommendations and work to do". Work, he said, which will "certainly not be completed by August of next year".

The school was inspected by Estyn last month - the report is due to be published in November.

"Altering my plans and remaining beyond August to see things through was my immediate reaction as a professional," Mr Kendall said.

"In some ways it seemed the right thing to do."

However, Mr Kendall said he could "also certainly see advantages in new blood coming into the school to support the improvement journey".

"I have therefore decided to stick with my original decision, and I shall be retiring in August after 14 years at Risca," he said.

"Most of the children in the school today were not even born when I took on this role in a community that has become very special to me."

He said that he had made the decision early so the recruitment process to find his replacement can get under way.

"This will allow for a smooth transition from me to my successor, and it may even allow us the opportunity to work together for a short while prior to my leaving," he said.

"Before then I want to assure you that my professional focus remains totally on our school, and specifically on tackling the useful recommendations from HMI Estyn, to ensure the school is left in the best possible place for the new headteacher to work with you all to secure and celebrate the improvement we all want."