Children and politicians have said a big thank you to a dedicated headteacher of 24 years.

Margaret Peacock joined Chestnut Grove, in Balham, in 1988, as deputy head and was promoted to head teacher in 1990.

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The school celebrated with a party at the end of term 

Ms Peacock oversaw the school becoming the country’s first visual arts college, an outstanding Ofsted review in 2008 and its transferral to an academy in 2011.

She was also made interim headteacher of the Elliott School, in Putney, for a year when it faced difficulties.

After her retirement, Ms Peacock will continue to work as an adviser for aspiring headteachers.

She said: "I could not be prouder of what we have achieved at Chestnut Grove. The decision to retire has been a very hard one to make, and I am going to miss everyone - staff, parents, governors, but particularly the students, very much indeed. I have no doubt that in the coming years, Chestnut Grove will reach even greater heights of achievement, under the leadership of Mr Kingsley and our excellent staff."  

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Sadiq Khan, MP for Tooting, said: "I meet adults all the time who tell me how Chestnut Grove helped them fulfil their potential and this is in no small part due to the fantastic work of Margaret Peacock. I am sure I join her staff, current and ex pupils, parents and governors in wishing her all the best in her retirement.

"I would also like to welcome Christian Kingsley as the school’s new headteacher. While he isn’t new to the school, he is new to the role, and I look forward to working with him in the future."

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