The Surrey Comet spoke to the woman set to run Kingston's first free school today.

Sophie Cavanagh was unveiled yesterday as the principal-to-be for the new North Kingston secondary school which is due to open in the North Kingston Centre in September next year.

The former Tiffin girl is currently deputy headteacher at Graveney School in Wandsworth but will take up her Kingston-based post from September 2014, where she hopes she can walk to her new school.

Miss Cavanagh, who lives in North Kingston, said: “I do like to walk – I will be on foot most days.

"Having somebody who knows the community – as community is going to be a big thrust of the school – will be a real asset I think.”

She added it felt like she had completed a “full circle” having been a student at Tiffin Girls’ School when it was based inside the centre.

The free school will be run by Kingston Educational Trust (KET) which is a partnership between Kingston University, Kingston College and Kingston Council.

Councillor David Cunningham, shadow lead for schools and continuing education, said: “I think we made an excellent choice and she will be joining in the year lead up to the opening, which is a critical period.”

On becoming the head of Kingston’s first free school, Miss Cavanagh said: “There is going to be pressure with all the attention and interest in the school but I enjoy the challenge and working in these sorts of situations – so I embrace it.

“Not many people start up new schools from scratch.”

She said the new school which has not yet been named, would focus its curriculum on science, technology, engineering and maths, and would benefit from all that Kingston University and Kingston College has to offer.

Miss Cavanagh, who took part in the Duke of Edinburgh award at school and played hockey for Surrey, started her teaching career in Hampshire and has a degree in sports science from Southampton University.