A NEW head teacher is to take over at The Read School in Drax, and for the first time in its 343-year history it’s a woman.

Belinda McCrea, a Cambridge graduate who is originally from the Midlands, will take up the reins in January.

Mrs McCrea, who is married with two sons, is moving from Suffolk where she has been a deputy head for more than four years.

Previous jobs also include business marketing and a stint as a manager of a ski resort in Italy.

Mrs McCrea said: “It is hugely exciting for me to be joining such a warm, welcoming school with such history and tradition. Pupils, staff, parents and governors went out of their way to ensure that I had a good understanding of what makes The Read School special. In a very short time, I felt so at home and I am looking forward to getting to know everyone better. And as for being a woman – let it never be said that The Read School stands still.”

The school was founded by Charles Reade in 1667 who wanted boys from poor families to be able to “to read, write and cast accounts” and to teach them “Latin, Greek and Hebrew and other languages as occasion should require”.

He originally founded the school for six pupils. It now has 350 students of both sexes.