New principal for St Gabriel’s

Richard Smith will take over from Alun Jones as Principal of St Gabriel’s, Newbury from September 2016

Nigel Garland, Chairman of the Governors is delighted to announce that Richard Smith has been appointed as the new Principal of St Gabriel’s. He will take up his post in September 2016 and Alun Jones, the current Principal, will be the new head at Chethams School in Manchester.

Richard is currently Deputy Head Pastoral at Headington School in Oxford, an Independent day/boarding school for girls aged three to 18. Mr Smith began his teaching career at Highfield Prep School, before moving to Framlingham College and Gravesend Grammar School for Girls where he taught English. In 2004, he moved to Headington School to become head of sixth form, before taking up his current role in 2008.

Richard graduated from the University of Aberdeen with an MA (Hons) in English and History before gaining a PGCE in Secondary English at the University of Cambridge. In 2013 he completed a MEd in Educational Leadership. He said: “I am delighted to be joining St Gabriel’s in September as the next Principal and look forward to leading it to further success by building on the excellent work done by Alun Jones. All my dealings with the school have shown it to be warm and caring, with exceptionally strong relationships; qualities that I believe are vital in assisting young people to achieve their potential. I have been particularly impressed by the hugely positive atmosphere; there is a clear sense of pride in all aspects of academic and extra-curricular school life. I am very much looking forward to working with the governors and staff, as well as meeting parents and, of course, most of all I am looking forward to getting to know the pupils.”

The recruitment process involved governors, members of staff and pupils (who certainly put the candidates through their paces); the governors are confident that Mr Smith will be an outstanding Principal who will build upon the excellent progress made by Mr Jones whilst at the same time valuing and maintaining the ethos which gives St Gabriel’s its distinctive character.

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