A FIRST school aiming to strengthen links with the local community has appointed a new head teacher.

Jo Hudson has taken the reins at St James’ CE First School in Alderholt, which is also a member of one of Dorset’s newest multi-academy trusts, the Heath Academy Trust (HAT).

HAT chief executive, Justine Horn, said: "Everyone is thrilled to have such a superb leader as Jo as its new head teacher.

"Under Jo’s leadership the school will be strengthening its links within the village and ensuring we continue to enhance the lives of Alderholt’s young learners."

St James’ First School was rated Good in its last Ofsted inspection and has also achieved the UNICEF Level 1 Rights Respecting school award.

Situated in Park Lane in the village, St James’ is a small school with just 83 pupils.

Jo said: "I’m delighted and honoured to be head teacher of such a friendly and excellent village school.

"I am committed to providing our children with an inspiring curriculum to enrich and challenge their teaching and learning. Being a small school we are able to create a personalised learning culture for our children.

"Everyone at the school has given me a warm welcome and I look forward to leading the school’s journey into an even brighter future."