A NEW headteacher for the troubled Hatters Lane School in High Wycombe will be appointed at the end of the week.

He or she will take over in September when the school starts a new life under the Government's Fresh Start scheme for failing schools.

Under Fresh Start, Hatters Lane will formally close in August and reopen in September with a new name, new head, new governors and about £1 million to spend on major refurbishments.

Acting head Tina Barnes, who came in when the previous head went on long term sick leave, will take early retirement at the end of the school year.

In February 2000, Hatters Lane had a poor Ofsted report, which said children were making poor progress and were badly behaved, and the school was poorly led. It also had some of the worst GCSE results in the county with only 15 per cent of 16-year-olds getting the required five passes at grades A to C.

Mrs Barnes said Hatters Lane was already making improvements with four positive inspections since May - the last in December - and she promised improved GCSE results next summer.