A NEW Principal has been appointed at a Poole school after the man dubbed Britain’s strictest head teacher announced he was stepping down.

Rachel Hesketh, currently a Vice Principal at Glenmoor and Winton Academies in Bournemouth, will take over at Magna Academy in September.

Her appointment came after current Principal Richard Tutt announced he was taking up the role of Regional Chief Executive Officer for the south coast region of the Aspiration Academies Trust, which runs Magna Academy.

He has since announced that he will be leaving the trust at the end of the academic year and will be taking up a new position as an Executive Principal for the United Learning Multi Academy Trust.

United Learning runs dozens of schools around the country including Glenmoor and Winton Academies in Bournemouth and Carter Community School in Poole.

In a letter to parents Mr Tutt said: “Please be assured that I will continue to give Magna 100 per cent of my time and effort right up until August 2019. I have absolutely loved being the Principal of Magna and working in partnership with you for the past six years.

“I know that Magna will continue to go from strength to strength with the appointment of Rachel Hesketh as the new Principal. Rachel will be an excellent asset for Magna. Rachel is a very experienced Vice-Principal from Glenmoor and Winton Academies, the highest performing schools in Bournemouth. Winton Academy was graded as outstanding in December 2018.

Mr Tutt’s controversial leadership manner hit the headlines on a number of occasions with some parents withdrawing their children from the school.

But others were in favour of the strict rules, which saw the school rise from special measures to Outstanding under his leadership.

Pupils were ordered to move between lessons in “silent transition” and strict rules were applied to equipment, including the length of rulers.

They had to have see-through pencil cases with a list of items inside and many pupils were placed in isolation for breaking the rules.

The school’s katest Ofsted report says: “The standard of discipline expected by the principal is very high. Pupils say it is ‘very strict’. Most parents are supportive of this approach, but a minority feel it is inflexible. Some parents have removed their children from the school while others have been attracted to the school.”