Interview: Sebastian Hepher, principal, Eaton Square Schools

Sebastian Hepher has been a headmaster for the last 27 years and principal of Eaton Square Schools for two and a half terms

How long have you held your job?

I have been principal of Eaton Square Schools for two and a half terms. Prior to this, I have been a headmaster for the last 27 years.

What’s the best and worst thing about your job?

The best thing is undoubtedly working with bright-eyed, enthusiastic and kind children, supported by an excellent staff body. The worst thing is when the children have to leave after their journey with us. I always miss them terribly!

What was it about Eaton Square Schools that made you take the job?

I had previously been headmaster of an all boys’ school and the attraction of co-education was the main factor. Equally, moving back into the centre of London was exciting, as was the opportunity to grow and develop the school into an all-through offering, from two to 18 years old.

What was your favourite subject at school?

Religious studies and PE; very hard to split them. The former because the teacher was excellent and managed to engage and spark a real interest. The latter because I have always (and still do) enjoyed sport, in particular swimming and water polo.

Eaton Square Schools
“The best thing is undoubtedly working with bright-eyed, enthusiastic and kind children,” says Hepher

What are you currently reading?

If This Is a Man by Primo Levi. It is an extremely powerful and informative autobiography of his experiences in Auschwitz and an amazing example of the ability of the human spirit to overcome adversity.

What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?

I enjoy spending time with my family, reading, fishing when I am able, swimming and walking in the hills of south-west France.

What issue in education are you most passionate about?

The development of character (kindness, being good natured, empathetic, resilient, and fostering the idea of service and community) and ensuring that all children leave us with these values.

If you weren’t in education what would you do instead?

I suspect that I would have been in a career that kept me outside as much as possible.

Do you have any advice for other school leaders during the coronavirus pandemic?

Stay calm, maintain your vision for the school and ensure that you and the team are adaptable in order that it can still be achieved. And above all else, maintain close links with the pupils, staff and parental body to help guide them through these challenging times.

About Eaton Square Schools

● Four nursery schools: Belgravia, Knightsbridge, Pimlico and Eccleston Square
● One pre-prep and prep school: Belgravia
● One senior school: Mayfair
● One sixth form: opening in September 2022

You might also like: Eaton Square School creates hardship fund to help parents with fees

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