An influential headteachers' association has named the head of a South Wales secondary as its next leader.
The Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL) confirmed this week that Brian Lightman will become its general secretary after no one stepped forward to challenge him for the top job. He has described the role as "an exciting challenge in changing times".
Mr Lightman, also a former president of ASCL, will leave his job at St Cyres School near Cardiff at the end of the school year to take the helm of the 14,000-strong union.
In September, he will take over from John Dunford, who is retiring after 12 years in the role.
Mr Lightman told The TES he was "absolutely delighted" to be taking up the post at a time when the job of leadership was becoming "more and more complex".
He said he hoped the association would continue to be a key influence among policy makers, whatever the outcome of the upcoming election.
Dr Dunford welcomed the appointment. "It is excellent news for ASCL and the wider education service," he said.
"Brian has immense credibility both as a successful head and through his work for ACSL in both England and Wales, where he is already a well-respected figure in Whitehall and Cardiff."
Mr Lightman, who has four grown-up daughters, is planning to move to Leicester to be nearer to ASCL's headquarters.
He was educated at Westminster City School and obtained a degree in German from Southampton University before taking a PGCE in modern languages. He became a deputy head at an Essex comprehensive before taking charge of two schools in South Wales.
He was one of the first heads to pilot the skills-led Welsh Baccalaureate and was praised for his pioneering approach by Jane Hutt, the former Welsh Assembly education minister.
In his spare time Mr Lightman likes to take his German wife caravanning around Europe, where Lake Constance is a favourite destination.
Mick Brookes, general secretary of the National Association of Headteachers, which represents 28,000 school leaders, is also stepping down next year. His successor is expected to be announced shortly.
See next week's TES for a full interview with Mr Lightman.