THE head of Knutsford's Studio school is to leave her post this summer to take on the headship at a school in Lancashire.

Nicola Hall, who was the Studio school's first head when it opened in September 2014, spent her last day in Knutsford on Wednesday, July 20.

She has now taken up a role as head at Central Lancaster High School.

Her replacement, on an interim basis, will be James Whittaker, who is currently head of the 'college' at the Academy.

The Academy is split into three sections.

The 'school' section is years 7, 8 and 9 based at the lower school building on Westfield Drive, the 'college' is year 10, 11 and the sixth form and focusses on the traditional academic qualifications, while the 'Studio' school is year 10, 11 and beyond, and focuses on getting students ready for the world of work by offering career-led courses.

Nicola Hall told the Guardian that she was 'proud' of the students at the school.

"As I move on to my new challenge I would like to thank the huge number of business and community partners who have supported all of our students and helped them develop essential employability and life skills," she said.

"I am proud of the achievements of Studio School and its students and wish them all exiting and aspirational futures. I am very confident that my Knutsford colleague James Whittaker will continue to strive for excellence.

James Routs, from the Academy, said the new appointment was a 'fantastic opportunity' for Nicola.

"It's closer to home for her and it's a fantastic opportunity to be headteacher of a large school," he said.

"The Studio is looking really exciting for September because we are extending the curriculum at KS4 and bringing in hospitality and construction courses. We identified a need for that for students needing an apprenticeship and we've had a good take up of that.

"James Whittaker was involved in the process of bringing the Studio school forward with Kevin Hollins and we thought it would give some continuity with no disruption."