SCHOOLCHILDREN who will be first into the new Ruislip high school next year met their future headteacher.

John Goulborn, 51, who has been appointed headteacher of the new 900-place Ruislip High Secondary School from September 2005, visited Ruislip Gardens Primary School, in Stafford Road, on Friday.

He met with the headteacher of the primary school, Lynne Thomas, as well as some of the children who are likely to transfer to Ruislip High, in Sidmouth Drive, when it opens next year.

Construction of the controversial Ruislip High is due to begin this autumn.

The school was only given the go-ahead after a public inquiry in 2003 after Ken Livingstone blocked plans for the school.

Mr Livingstone had stepped in saying the site at Sidmouth Drive was not appropriate because it was on so-called "green chain" land which is not quite as protected as green belt. But Hillingdon Council appealed against his decision and the school was given the go-ahead by the Deputy Prime Minister in December 2003.

The school will open to the first 150 eleven-year-old pupils in September next year. The other four year groups and the sixth form, each with 150 pupils, will be admitted a year at a time from September 2007 when the school is due for completion. Mr Goulborn said: "It is a privilege to be the school's first headteacher. My vision is for a school which will be both in the community and for the community.

"I look forward to appointing a team of dedicated and innovative people to work with me to ensure that local children are given an inspirational secondary education that will be both memorable and successful. I want to appoint colleagues who will provide young people with the challenge and support needed to achieve greater things than they could imagine possible."