A HAMPSHIRE headteacher has resigned after a long absence caused by ill health.

Children at Hythe Primary School are said to have gone home in tears after it was announced that Kevin Street had stepped down just three years after being appointed.

The deputy headteacher, Charlotte Peppard, will be acting headteacher until a replacement for Mr Street can be found.

In a letter to parents and carers the school says: "As you are aware Mr Street has been absent from school for some time. We have now received the news from Mr Street that he has officially resigned.

"In the meantime we would like to inform you that Miss Peppard will be acting headteacher until the end of this academic year.

"Miss Peppard will continue to work closely with the Senior Leadership Team (SLT) to ensure the teaching, learning and provision at Hythe remains at a high standard for all of the pupils."

The letter says the school aims to have a new head teacher in place by September.

It adds: "We would like to thank Mr Street for his enthusiasm and dedication to the school during his time here as headteacher and offer our full support and good wishes to him in his future."

A statement issued on his behalf adds: "After due consideration and following his sickness absence, Mr Street has chosen to leave Hythe Primary School.

"He would like to thank the staff for their fantastic hard work and support over the last three years, their dedication to the children and the school has been exemplary.

"He would also like to thank the parents for their support for the school, and thanks to the children for their superb attitudes and wonderful smiles.

"Mr Street would like everyone to know that Hythe Primary School is a very special place. It is a true community where children and adults are able to flourish.

"Thank you for making his time at Hythe a remarkable one."

Mr Street is understood to have worked at a school in Pennington before being appointed head teacher at Hythe Primary School in 2015.

A Hythe parent, who asked not to be named, said: "He was absent from school for two long periods last year, including the run-up to Christmas, and wasn't at the annual carol concert.

"He was affable and well-liked. I've heard that one or two children went home in tears after it was announced he wasn't coming back."