The new Chessington Community College headteacher has vowed to turn around negative preconceptions of the school and encourage more parents to send their children to the college.

Ash Ali has only been head since September this year, but he is already proud of his new school.

He said: “This pride continues to grow as I receive emails and phone calls telling me just how great our students look in their uniform.

“In fact, one elderly lady in our community emailed to tell me of a young man in our school who carried her bags up the stairs when she’d dropped them at the train station and who then stayed with her to help her, despite missing his train and having to wait half an hour for the next to get home.”

Previously deputy headteacher at the outstanding Oftsed-rated Grey Court School in neighbouring borough Richmond, Mr Ali said he aimed to bring Chessington Community College to “a level playing field”.

He is also determined to make sure it gets the chance to prove itself and is working with nearby primary schools to develop a “Chessington Charter” to make sure “children come to our schools”.

Previous headteacher Rob Niedermaier-Reed left the school after leading it to its best GCSE results.

During his six-year tenure he managed to increase the five A* to C GCSE pass rates from 25 per cent in 2007 to 63 per cent in 2014.

Before departing, Mr Niedermaier-Reed told the Comet: “This college is above the national average now – the staff, parents and pupils should be proud.

“Whoever is going to take over is going to love it because it is set up to do even more outstanding things. I feel comfortable that I am leaving the school to someone else to further it.”