MRS Wendy Bellars, principal of St Leonards School, St Andrews, has tendered her resignation

Mrs Bellars, appointed principal in January 2001, has indicated her desire to move on in order to seek new opportunities and will stand down from June 30..

Sir Fraser Morrison, chairman of St Leonards Council, said: "Mrs Bellars joined St Leonards at a time of many challenges facing the School, some specific to St Leonards while others were a more general reflection of the independent educational sector.

''Whatever those challenges, Mrs Bellars addressed them with the quiet determination we have come to expect of her.

''St Leonards is now certainly in better heart and we thank her for her contribution.

''The council have already begun the process of recruiting a successor and are confident of being able to make an early announcement."

St Leonards has undergone a series of changes over the past few years.

Previously an all-girls school, it went fully co-educational three years ago and, since then, the number of boys attending has been steadily increasing. They now account for 25 per cent of the current roll.

Further changes have also taken place under Mrs Bellars' headship, including the opening of the new Junior and Middle School last August, which replaced St Katharines.

Numbers of pupils continue to rise and there is a seven per cent increase in registrations for the next academic year, beginning in September 2003.