The headteacher of a Loughton secondary school will stand down at the end of this school year.

Paul Banks has been at Roding Valley High School, in Alderton Hill, Loughton, for the past five years and says now is the time to take on a new challenge.

Mr Banks, who came to Epping Forest from Chelmsford, is preparing to return to the Boswells School where he previously served as deputy head.

He praised the school, staff and parents at Roding Valley High.

"It has been fantastic, a really enjoyable five years," he said.

"The main highlight was seeing the exam results going up so much and getting good Ofsteds.

"Of course it's had its challenges but the parents at Roding Valley are very supportive.

"We put in changes to teaching and learning and that was relatively painless, and then we saw the exam results shoot up."

Mr Banks will be replaced by James Luck, the current headteacher of Queensmead School in South Ruislip, which is currently rated by Ofsted as 'outstanding'.

Mr Luck will start the job officially on September 1 but will be attending school events in the run-up to his beginning the role to meet staff, parents and pupils.

Mr Banks said he was proud of how far the school has come and wishes RVHS the best for the future.

He said: "I would like to thank everyone for all the support they have given me. I am sure that James will take the school to 'outstanding', where it deserves to be."

Roding Valley was the most improved school in the district for pupils achieving five A* to C grades at GCSE including English and maths, last year.

Figures published by the Department for Education show the school's pass rate rose from 49 per cent to 63 per cent, beating its previous best of 57.

The school also exceeded the national average of 59.2 per cent and the Essex average of 60.5 per cent.