TWO Ryedale primary schools have a new headteacher.

James Pynn has taken over the headship at both Hovingham Primary and St Hilda's in Ampleforth.

The 45-year-old was previously headteacher at Wykeham Primary School and Ripley Endowed Primary School near Harrogate.

Mr Pynn said he had been teaching for 20 years, the majority of the time in village schools.

"I have a passion for working in small village church schools," he said.

"It is very rewarding to work with children and their families on a day-to-day basis and do the best we can for each and every pupil."

Mr Pynn said he would be dividing his time between the two schools.

"I will always be there for each school and I am looking forward to the challenges of both," he said.

"The previous headteacher Maureen Skinner was extremely well-respected and I want to expand and build on her successes."

Mr Pynn, who is married with a four-year-old daughter, said he had been made to feel very welcome at both Hovingham and St Hilda's.

"I am enjoying getting to know everyone and putting plans into place for the future," he said. "I know how vital working in partnership with parents is for children to find school a positive and rewarding experience and I strongly believe achievement and enjoyment go hand in hand."