A HEADTEACHER at a Herefordshire secondary school has resigned as the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic "have taken their toll".

The trustees at John Kyrle High School in Ross-on-Wye said Nigel Griffiths stepped down on December 31, with another senior member of staff also leaving in the coming months.

In a statement, trustees focussed on successes over Mr Griffiths's 20-year tenure, which included positive Ofsted ratings, investment in buildings and good results, particularly, they said, at A-level.

"It is fair to say that he has probably seen it all over this time, particularly during the recent pandemic," the board of trustees said, adding deputy headteacher Mark Burton would take over the reins.


"While no leader would ever say their tenure has been perfect, Nigel has continually tried to ensure that our community is one where everyone can be happy, healthy and successful.

"He has, however, recently concluded that the challenges of leading a school community through Covid have taken their toll, and he has made the decision to step down from his position at John Kyrle."

Over the last 18 months, schools have faced last-minute moves to online learning, huge lateral flow testing programmes and other measures including bubbles, face coverings and contact tracing.

The board said its prime focus was to look to the future and the school, with around 1,400 pupils in Ledbury Road, had "important strategic decisions" to make about its structure, leadership and governance.


"We believe it is right that we make some difficult immediate decisions to support that process," it said.

"We have, therefore, allowed Mr Griffiths to step away from his position as of the December 31."

The board also said that operational headteacher Dave Boyd would retire in the summer, stepping back from the senior leadership before then.

"Given the continuing challenges of the pandemic, trustees felt it was right to appoint someone who knows our students and community well on an interim basis to lead the school.

"We are delighted to tell you that Mark Burton, who is deputy headteacher, will be leading JKHS for the foreseeable future."