THE new head teacher of Testbourne Community School said she is focused on ensuring that it retains its ‘outstanding’ status.

Ruth Beasley took over the role of head in September last year, after Hilary Jackson retired.

She stepped up from her position as deputy head, having been at the school for seven years.

Testbourne was graded as ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted in 2011, and Mrs Beasley said: “It’s all about being able to develop our young people and provide them with opportunities that will help them in life.

“We are very fortunate that we have got a hugely committed staff who are prepared to give up their time to run trips and take the youngsters off to places. There’s a huge responsibility that goes with that.”

Mrs Beasley said that her biggest challenge is to continue the good work of her predecessor, and added: “For me, the challenge is retaining our ‘outstanding’ status, and really building on the success that we have seen during the time I have been here.”

See this week's Gazette, on sale now, for a special School Report feature on Testbourne Community School.