Staff appointments: February 2022

Independent Education Today congratulates the following on their recent appointments

Cleve House School

Clare Fraser


Clare Fraser has taken over as headteacher at Cleve House School and preschool in Bristol after six years as deputy head. She succeeds Craig Wardle, who leaves the school after six years as head to join Benedict House Preparatory School in south-east London.

Fraser has worked at Cleve House for 12 years and has also taught at several other local schools, including Colston’s Collegiate and St. Mary’s Catholic Primary in Bradley Stoke. “Having taught in several Bristol establishments for over 30 years I can categorically say that this school is the happiest that I’ve had the pleasure of working in,” said Fraser.

Felsted School

Jack Dougherty


Jack Dougherty has been promoted from marketing manager to director of marketing at Felsted School. Dougherty, who has a Higher National Diploma in photography and digital imaging, has worked at Felsted for 11 years.

“Leading the marketing team at Felsted is something I am extremely passionate about, not just on a personal level, but also because I am keen to make a difference in the marketing of independent education both in the UK and internationally,” he said. “As I start my 34th term at Felsted, I am ready to take on the new challenges, build new relationships and drive Felsted to the very top of an independent education sector that is embracing change and adapting to suit the requirements of the 21st century.”

Old Hall School

Anna Karacan


Anna Karacan has been appointed as the new headteacher of Old Hall School in Shropshire. Current headteacher Martin Stott will be leaving in July after 15 years at the helm. Currently deputy head of Kellet School in Hong Kong, Karacan was also instrumental in setting up Harrow Prep School in Hong Kong and will be the first female head in the trust’s 150-year history.

She has worked in both the state and independent sector and is now completing a MA at Keele University. Karacan said: “It is an immense privilege to have been selected to lead Old Hall into an exciting new chapter.”

Rugby School Japan

Tony Darby


The Rugby School Group and Clarence Education Asia have announced the appointment of Tony Darby as founding principal of Rugby School Japan. Set to open in September 2023, it will be the first British boarding and day school in Greater Tokyo, and Rugby’s second international sister school.

Darby is sub-warden of St Edward’s School, Oxford, and has been in post since 2017. Having read politics and economics at Durham, he took up his first teaching appointment in 1996 at Queen’s College, Taunton, before moving to Rugby School in 2003 to lead the economics and business studies department, becoming a housemaster in 2011 and senior housemaster in 2014.

Highgate School

Philippa Studd


Highgate School has announced the appointment of Philippa Studd as principal of the junior school – its first female principal. Studd is currently deputy principal (pastoral) in the junior school, after having joined as assistant principal (pupils’ personal development).

She previously worked at Radnor House School as assistant head. Prior to this she taught modern languages at Chesterfield High School following her teacher training and a degree in French and Hispanic studies at the University of Liverpool. Mark James will retire in July 2022, having led the junior school for 20 years.

Solihull School

Left to right: Mark Hopton, former chair of governors, and Damian Kelly, new chair of governors


Damian Kelly has joined Solihull School as chair of governors. He takes over from Mark Hopton, who stood down after more than 16 years on the board, including 11 as chairman. Kelly, an Old Silhillian, has been a governor for 10 years and was vice chairman throughout 2021. He is a partner at Lodders LLP, specialising in employment law, and has extensive experience of a wide variety of HR and other commercial matters.

He is dedicated to ensuring the successful development of the school and is committed to excellence in educational provision, including both the classroom curriculum and also via co-curricular opportunities.

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