The headteacher of a Banstead school which failed its Ofsted inspection last month, has quit his job and been replaced by a 'superhead' in a bid to improve standards.

John Darker, the former head of The Beacon School in Picquets Way, had been due to retire this summer after leading the school since it opened in 1988. But following the failed Ofsted inspection, he left six months early.

Government officials said the school was not providing students with an acceptable level of education following an inspection.

An Ofsted spokeswoman said they felt schools in that category did not have the capacity to improve themselves.

As a result, following the inspection at the beginning of December, the inspectors placed the school in special measures, meaning regular inspections will take place up to a period of two years. If by then the school has still not improved, it will be closed down.

A spokesman for Surrey County Council, which oversees schools throughout the county, said: "Mr John Darker has taken the decision to leave his post as headteacher of The Beacon School in Banstead ahead of schedule.

"Mr Darker had already announced his decision to retire at the end of the summer term and he has brought his retirement forward for personal reasons.

"Mrs Jennifer Thomas has taken up the post of acting headteacher from January until the governors make a permanent appointment.

"She has been seconded from Reigate School where she is the deputy headteacher. She is an experienced teacher who has undertaken similar roles in the past."

Mrs Thomas added: "I am delighted to be working with all at The Beacon School. We shall address the challenges and opportunities presented to ensure that our students receive the highest standard of education."

The official Ofsted report into the findings of the school is due out later this month.