A NEW headteacher has taken over at Bishopswood Special School in Sonning Common.
Stephen Passey succeeds Jenny Wager, who retired after nine years at the end of last term.
He is head of the school’s three sites — the nursery in Valley Road, Henley, and at the village primary and Chiltern Edge secondary, both in Sonning Common.
Mr Passey, 44, has worked for the local education authority for 20 years and was at Mabel Prichard School and Iffley Mead School, both in Oxford, and Springfield School in Witney. Bishopswood is his first post as headteacher.
He said: "Teaching is in my blood. My father was a head of a school and family members were in the profession in one way or another.
"I came to it via my interest in overcoming literacy difficulties, which led to an MA and work. I moved from primary into special schools about eight years ago."
Mr Passey said he had already noticed that Bishopswood was an "incredible" school with supportive staff and families. "It is clearly held with great affection in the community," he said. "The school encourages quality opportunities for inclusion across the sites, from two- to 16-year-olds.
"I have seen some lovely things already — the system at the primary school where year six children buddy up with our pupils to support them at lunchtime is really nice." Mr Passey lives in Oxford with his wife Louisa, who works for the Helen and Douglas House children’s hospice, and their children William, 14, Olivia, 13, and Isobel, 10.
Meanwhile, the Bishopswood integrated nursery in Henley has been judged "outstanding" by education watchdog Ofsted.