Staff appointments in 2020

Who is taking on a new appointment in an independent school this year?

Abbotsholme School

Simon Ruscoe-Price has had an unusual introduction to his new role as headmaster of Abbotsholme School. Having started in the summer term in April, he is yet to meet everyone face to face, with meetings taking place over video, due to current circumstances. He has over 27 years of experience in education as a school leader, teacher trainer and pioneer of education reform. In India, he implemented a specialist international curriculum across a group of schools; and he’s worked as a director for Wellington College’s Chinese schools

Elstree School

Whilst Graham Wootten was supposed to start at Elstree School as the new head of digital learning in April, he stepped in to provide advice and guidance through the transition to a virtual school in March. Headmaster Sig Inglis said Wootten “could not be joining Elstree at a more appropriate time”, and they were “extremely grateful for his support”. Wootten joins Elstree from St Hugh’s School in Oxfordshire, where he was IT director and network manager. He has many years’ experience in the management and development of IT systems in schools.

Glenalmond College

Dr Michael Alderson joined Glenalmond College as its new warden just a couple of weeks after the school was forced to close due to coronavirus. He said: “Our pupils and staff have admirably risen to the challenges of recent weeks, responding with great flexibility and adapting to what has been an unprecedented period for everyone.” He said he was “particularly impressed by the commitment and positive attitude” shown by the school whilst preparing for the summer term. Dr Alderson has previously been deputy head at Durham School.

Abberley Hall School

Jonnie Besley will become the new headmaster of Abberley Hall School from September 2020. He is currently serving as deputy head pastoral at Orwell Park School. Having taught history and coached sport at Dulwich College Prep School, he went on to work as head of history and head of boarding at Westbourne House before joining Orwell Park in 2015. He will be joined at the school by his wife, Tessa, and their two children. Besley said: “Tessa and I were hugely impressed with the school throughout the selection process and were particularly drawn to its family ethos, the warmth of its atmosphere, the manners of the children and its stunning rural setting.”

Cranleigh Abu Dhabi

The current headmaster of Wellington Prep School, Adam Gibson, is jetting off to the United Arab Emirates at the end of the academic year to become head of prep at Cranleigh Abu Dhabi. Gibson was educated at Wellington School and returned to lead the prep school in 2010, a job which he said was “an absolute privilege”. Eugene du Toit, headmaster of Wellington School, said: “Adam has served Wellington Prep School with great loyalty and dedication. He has set the highest of standards to both pupils and staff, but has led with compassion and empathy. The summer term will see the school community appropriately recognising Adam’s excellent service.”

The Glasgow Academy

Businesswoman Jane Gotts has been appointed to the newly created role of deputy chair of the board of governors at The Glasgow Academy. She is a founding partner of GenAnalytics, a specialist data consultancy focused on diversity and equality in the workplace. She has also been a member of The Glasgow Academy’s board of governors for the past three years. “I look forward to continuing to lend my skills and expertise to work with colleagues on the board of governors and the entire school staff to achieve the ambitions we have both in Scotland and internationally to ensure the very best for our pupils and their future,” she said.


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