ST Ivo’s headteacher has announced that he will retire at the end of the school year.

Howard Gilbert, 56, will step down after eight years at the school and 20 years as a headteacher in Cambridgeshire.

A maths teacher, Mr Gilbert will be replaced by Mark Patterson, headteacher of Chesterton Community College. Mr Patterson, a foreign languages teacher, previously was deputy headteacher at a school in Essex.

Mr Gilbert, who started teaching in 1982 in Sussex, before moving to a school in Norfolk as head of maths and to Peterborough as a deputy head. His first headship came in 1993 when he joined Chesterton Community College. He then joined Soham Village College in 1999.

The Glaswegian joked: "When people start to understand what I am saying, then I find it's time to move on."

He added: "St Ivo is a great place to work. It's like a village with around 2,000 people here every day. It has a great community. I am lucky to have a job where I can see the youngsters and the teachers develop.

"I have lived in St Ives since 1994 and three of my sons have gone through the school. Luckily for them it was before my time, but I knew the school very well when I joined.

"I have mixed feelings about leaving. I think it's a good thing that St Ivo will be seen by a fresh pair of eyes that will see the school in a different way.

"Mark will come in and ask questions that I stopped asking a long time ago.

"I know Mark very well and I know he will do an excellent job. He will be working with a lot of good staff at this special place.

"He will get great support and, as most people in St Ives went to St Ivo, there is great community support as well - he will really enjoy that aspect."

He added: "I know Chesterton really well having been a headteacher there - it's like a training ground for St Ivo!"

Mr Gilbert said that he would be looking at another role in education, but not as a headteacher.