A HEADTEACHER who transformed a high school with radical changes has been forced to retire on medical grounds.

Nigel Mountford joined Harwich and Dovercourt High School 25 years ago.

But it was in 2006 that took the helm and steered the school from it's notice to improve, avoiding special measures.

This week it has been revealed that Mr Mountford, who has been suffering with an illness since March last year, will be taking medical retirement.

Chair of governors at the school, Janet Little, wrote to parents to tell them the news.

She said: "The school is indebted to his leadership."

Mr Mountford described his retirement as "passing on the baton".

"I have always and will remain absolutely passionate about the school," he said.

A new headteacher is hoped to be in place by September or next January.