A DIDCOT school has announced it is being taken over by a new headteacher.

Samantha Knowlton will replace Owain Johns as principal of UTC Oxfordshire, taking up post on April 20.

The school, which specialises in science and engineering, had been led by Mr Johns since its opening in 2015.

His successor brings more than 20 years worth of teaching experience, with a specialism in physics, and she spent three years as managing director of a manufacturing company.

She said: "I am immensely proud and excited to take up the position of principal, building on the solid foundations laid down by Owain Johns.

"I’m honoured to be working with a dedicated team of staff, governors and Activate Learning Education Trust to ensure our students receive an excellent education and opportunities that can transform their lives.

"This is a really exciting new phase in the journey of UTC Oxfordshire."

Joanne Harper, chief executive of Activate Learning Education Trust, which runs the school, thanked Mr Johns for his 'inspirational leadership'.

She said staff and governors wish him 'the very best for the future'.

Ms Harper added: "We are delighted to welcome Samantha to UTC Oxfordshire and the wider trust.

"We feel that given her background and expertise, she will be a fantastic addition for both the school and wider group.

"To be able to appoint someone with extensive educational and industry experience to a principal role is unique, and I think current and future students at UTC Oxfordshire will benefit enormously from this."