THE new Headteacher at Forest High School in Cinderford says he is aiming to make it "the best school it can possibly be" in the years ahead.

Alan Dane, who has a track record of success having led one of his previous schools to an ’Outstanding’ Ofsted rating, has officially been appointed as the new Head of the secondary school on Causeway Road.

The 45-year-old from Kent is a Theology graduate from the University of Durham and has more than 20 years of teaching experience.

Speaking for the first time since his appointment, Mr Dane, who joins Forest High from Oasis Academy Brightstowe at Shirehampton near Bristol, said he is "determined" to provide the best quality teaching, support and opportunities for his students despite the current challenges faced by young people because of the pandemic.

The experienced new head previously led the Harris Academy in London, where he worked for seven years, to an ’Outstanding’ rating from education watchdog Ofsted in 2015.

He is now tasked with steering Forest High towards a brighter future, with Ofsted finding that the school "requires improvement" during its most recent inspection in 2018.

Alan, who lives in Cardiff with his husband and two children, said: "It is an honour and a delight to be the new headteacher of the Forest High School.

"I am really looking forward to getting to know the staff and students as soon as possible and to working with you in the years ahead to make this the best school it can possibly be for its students and for this community.

"We are now almost two years into the Covid-19 pandemic.

"The challenges it has caused young people and the pressures it has placed on schools show no signs of easing any time soon.

"Our students’ safety and well-being will always be my overwhelming priority.

"But I am determined that the challenges and pressures of the pandemic do not stop our students getting the best teaching, the best support and the best opportunities."

His appointment comes after current head John Whitehead announced in November that he was leaving the school due to ill health.

Nigel Johnson, chair of both SGS Academy Trust, which oversees the school, and the Local School Board, added: "We were fortunate to have several high-quality, experienced, senior leaders who applied for this post.

’’Alan was unanimously chosen by the selection panel at interview because of his experience, intellect and leadership style which we believe is a perfect fit for Forest High School.

"We are delighted that we have found a headteacher who shares our vision for the school and who can continue the improvements we have made at the school over the last six years."