A NEW head teacher has been chosen to take charge of Ilkley Grammar School in September.

The Governing Body has announ-ced the appointment of Gillian James as its new head teacher.

She will take over from retiring head, Peter Wood, who has been at the school for 23 years.

Mrs James is currently headteacher at Archbishop Temple School, Fulwood, Preston, where she has been in charge for six years.

A recent government Ofsted report gave rich praise to Archbishop Temple School and its head teacher.

Previously Mrs James was deputy head for six years at The Calder High School, in Mytholmroyd, and has also taught in Walsall.

Originally born in Scotland, she was brought up in Whitley Bay and studied a degree in English at the University of Birmingham, before completing her teaching qualifications at Cambridge University.

Chairman of governors, Michael Noble, said: "I am delighted that we have been able to secure the appointment of such an able and experienced headteacher to take over the leadership of Ilkley Grammar School at this important time in its history.

"The governors are impressed with Mrs James' vision for the school as it settles down in its new role as a secondary school and becomes fully established on the Cowpasture Road site by September 2003."

Mrs James said: "It is a great privilege to be appointed to lead such an excellent school as Ilkley Grammar School, and at such an exciting time in its development.

"We face challenging times in education, but I am very much looking forward to working with governors, staff and parents, building on the school's many strengths

"I want to ensure the very best in educational opportunities and achievement for our students.

"Ilkley Grammar School has an enviable reputation locally and nationally, and should be a school of high expectation and high aspiration, with a strong learning culture amongst its pupils.

"I hope I can bring a fresh perspective and a new impetus to the school, as well as a commitment to high standards and excellence."