THE top man at a York school is heading off after 15 years with a 'heavy heart'.

Rod Sims, head at York High in Acomb, which has about 750 pupils is set to step down at the end of the Summer term this year.

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Mr Sims, who is 56, had a cancer diagnosis last year, underwent chemotherapy and surgery and has now had the all-clear, but says "it's time to do something else".

He has been head for five years and before that spent ten years as deputy head at York High. Prior to that he worked at Archbishop Holgate's CE School across the city in Badger Hill.

Back in November 2022 York High was rated 'good' in all areas by Ofsted following a concerted campaign by the Acomb secondary school to get the inspectors in.

Previously it was judged 'inadequate' at an inspection in January 2017 and staff had been fighting hard to get a long-awaited fresh inspection. 

"When I look back on my career it will be taking the school from inadequate to good and the people I have worked with who come to mind, and it's always involved the local community," said Mr Sims, who himself went to school at Westfield and then Nunthorpe as a boy.

"I am delighted with what we have done at York High. It was really important as the community didn't need that badge of 'inadequate'.

"It's with a lot of regret that I am leaving, but I just can't do the 65 hours a week any more, the working on a Sunday and the huge amounts of patience you need to do the job.

"It has been an absolute delight to work with nearly 2,500 different pupils and their families during this time. The students, staff and parents are what make York High such a special place.

"It has been brilliant to be a part of this school for the last 15 years and in particular the remarkable improvement in the school during the last five years. Not because of me but because of the talented staff, the great pupils and your support. We have achieved these improvements together.

"I love this school and when I look back on my life, I will look back with joy at the 15 years I have spent at YHS.

"For now, we are back to business as usual. We have lots to do from now until the end of the year."

Mr Sims said he plans to "live a life a little more ordinary", and is currently making plans for the future.

South Bank Academy Trust, which runs the school is looking to replace Mr Sims with an executive head teacher with a salary of £111,469 a year. Whoever gets the new job will look to start work in September this year.