THE incoming headteacher of the Lakes School has spoken of his excitement as he prepares to take on the role in the new year.

Andy Cunningham, who has five years of experience as deputy head at schools in Derby, already has big plans for the Troutbeck Bridge school.

He hopes to push it from a ‘good’ towards ‘outstanding’ school, the top level achievable from the education watchdog Ofsted.

“I’ve already met some wonderfully confident and talented young people and I knew within a day that it was a school where I wanted to work,” said the 38-year-old.

“To get outstanding status we need to improve the outcome of Key Stages four and five.

“I am also very keen on helping students improve their reading - which in turn helps them achieve better across all of their subjects.”

The father-of-two, who will move to the area with his wife, also praised the current standing of the school.

“The Lakes School is already a very good school which provides brilliantly for young people in the local area,” he said.

“It has an ethos not to leave any child behind and that will remain. There is a real community feel with very happy pupils and staff.”

Mr Cunningham, who is coming to the end of a secondment at Merrill Academy, Derby, recently visited for an opening evening and was delighted with the feeling in the school.

“It has a very vibrant feel, there’s a buzz about it,” he said. “It was nice to be able to speak to the prospective parents of future pupils and make them aware of who I am. I have made some great connections in my career so far and I will bring that experience with me.”

A keen walker, runner and cyclist, Mr Cunningham is looking forward to the Lake District life and is hoping to instill many of his outdoor education beliefs into pupils.

“I think that every child should have access to a rock, fell and water experience,” he said. “I’m a big believer in the value of the outdoors and what they can teach you.”