Head, Queen Elizabeth Grammar School

In 2020, Saxton Bampfylde worked with Queen Elizabeth Grammar School (QEGS) on the appointment of their new Head.

QEGS is part of the Wakefield Grammar School Foundation, one of the country’s leading families of single-sex independent day schools which includes a nursery, boys’ and girls’ junior schools and boys’ and girls’ senior schools. Following a major review of their structure, the Foundation decided to merge the Junior and Senior schools, creating single-sex all-through schools at both QEGS and Wakefield Girls’ High School. The incoming Head of QEGS would need to provide subtle yet decisive leadership to bring together the two schools into one all-through school. Candidates also needed experience of how to market a school in a highly competitive environment and to communicate the new vision of QEGS within the local community. Our search and outreach focused on candidates who would show a passion for, and understanding of, single-sex education and would appreciate the traditions that the school was keen to maintain, whilst providing a vision to lead it into the future. As the process ran throughout the COVID pandemic, the timetable was adapted so that candidates did not have to travel too much through the national lockdown and some meetings were undertaken virtually.

The successful candidate was Dr Richard Brookes, Senior Deputy Head at City of London School. Before this, Dr Brookes was Director of Teaching and Learning at Tonbridge School, where he led the development of enhanced approaches to teachers’ reflective practice. Previously, he was Head of Chemistry and Sixth Form tutor at King Edward’s School, Birmingham. Dr Brookes studied at Oxford University, where he gained a Masters in Chemistry (First Class) before completing his DPhil in Theoretical Chemistry. Dr Brookes takes up the role in September 2021.

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