A headteacher will head into semi-retirement at the end of the school year having secured “the biggest achievement of his career”.

Andrew Hampton is enjoying his final term in charge of Thorpe Hall School, where he has been headteacher for close to 14 years.

As the school prepares to head into a new era, it has been nominated for two Independent Schools Awards by the Times Educational Supplement.

Thorpe Hall, on Southend’s Wakering Road, is in the running to clinch the community initiative of the year and senior school of the year awards.

Mr Hampton, who has been involved in teaching for 32 years, insists it is the high point of his career.

He said: “There have been some real challenges along the way but this is, without a doubt, the high point.

“We are in the running to win two of the most prestigious awards out there and, whatever happens from this point, it is a lovely way to go out.

“I’m so proud of our school and it’s my biggest achievement on a personal level.”

Mr Hampton has been in charge of the school since September 2007 and insists now is the right time to step aside.

Read more:

He added: “I am going to concentrate on my company, Girls on Board, which puts forward a teaching approach which helps girls between the ages of seven and 18 navigate the often troubled waters of friendship problems.

“I feel very excited about heading into a new part of my life and ending this journey as I have been a headteacher for 18 years having come here from another school in Nottingham.

“Stephen Duckett will be replacing me as headteacher and I know the school has a bright future under him because he has been a headteacher for 24 years. The school will be in very safe hands.”

Mr Hampton has seen numerous changes made over the course of his career.

He admitted: “The biggest difference is how much technology has improved. Pupils now have an iPad each and are expected to respond to emails within 24 hours.

“We have also been made to contend with the changes to the GCSE grading system and got through a global pandemic.

“The teachers have been great, particularly over the last year, and are unsung heroes.”