THE founding headteacher of two Didcot schools has left after almost two years.

Hannah Wilson has stepped down from her role as executive headteacher at Aureus School and neighbouring Aureus Primary School, announcing she will start a new job in higher education.

Ms Wilson had led the secondary school since its opening in September 2017, and the primary since its opening in September 2018.

Jon Chaloner, chief executive of GLF Schools, which runs both schools, said: "We have said ‘goodbye and thank you’ to Hannah Wilson as she moves on to her new role in higher education.

"Her dedication has been vital in establishing the Aureus community in Great Western Park.

"We wish Hannah every success in the future and we will build upon the foundations laid since 2017."

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Ms Wilson had her last day before half term last week.

Several parents of pupils had contacted the Oxford Mail claiming there had been some confusion about Ms Wilson's departure, describing it as 'sudden,' but a school spokesman said parents had been told in good time.

Julie Hunter is now acting headteacher of Aureus, while Julie Hiddleston is executive headteacher of Aureus Primary.

A popular Twitter user, Ms Wilson told her 20,000 followers on Sunday: "Delighted to be able to confirm that I have a new role from September as head of secondary teacher training.

"I am excited to be joining the team @UniOfBuckingham.

"New chapter in HE [higher education] following 17 years in schools."

Ms Wilson has championed wellbeing and children's mental health, and Aureus was given the gold standard in the Carnegie Centre of Excellence Mental Health Award for Schools.

In a letter sent by the school to parents on Monday, she wrote: "Thank you to everyone who has reached out to me virtually or in person in the last few weeks since the news broke of my departure.

"Your kind words of support and gratitude are most appreciated. I will really miss working at Aureus Schools and with your children."

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She admitted the school community had been through a 'difficult few weeks' and thanked parents for 'championing us on social media.'

Ms Wilson added: "Change is hard for everyone to manage - we have all had to draw on the value of resilience of this month as we begin to adjust to our next chapter."

She referred to a previous letter sent to parents, which did not appear to have been published on the school's website, and apologised if she had 'unintentionally caused unrest' by 'detailing other staff departures and appointments' in that letter.

She added: "My intention was for you to know about these changes in advance.

"I felt it was important for you to be aware that these staff had already resigned rather than speculate that staff were leaving due to the changes in leadership."