Life has gone full circle for a Croydon born and bred teacher Wayne Cooper.

The 46-year-old grew up in the borough but moved away in 2004, but a new job at Forest Academy has brought him back to his roots.

“I always knew I’d come back to Croydon,” he said.

From September, Mr Cooper will begin as the head teacher at Forest Academy.

Wayne says he’d always wanted to be a teacher but was embarrassed to admit it early on.

“I kept it quiet for a long time,” he said.

You could say teaching is in his blood. His mum dreamt of being a teacher but never had the chance while his sister and aunt have both gone into the profession.

Wayne went to Kingsley Primary School in Croydon before going on to Norbury High Manor School and then Selhurst High School where he took his A Levels.

His next step was taking a teaching degree with French at Roehampton University.

“I always thought I’d teach French but then I went to my brother’s primary school for work experience and I loved it," he said.

"I never looked back.”

Now he is back in Croydon after stints in inner London and Cambridgeshire.

“The main message is that I’m from Croydon," he said.

"I understand the area and what it’s like to come from a culturally diverse town.

"I want to promote pupils voices and contribute to their learning.

“I’m really looking forward to having the support of local people, friends, former colleagues and being back in my community.”