The Governing Council of St John’s School has announced the appointment of Alex Tate as the School’s 15th Head from August 2023.
Following an extensive search which attracted candidates from some of the best known and most highly regarded schools in the independent sector, CEOs from education trusts and the charity sector, and candidates from international schools, Alex stood out as an outstanding and inspiring leader.
After studying Modern History at Oxford University, Alex began his career in the shipping industry. He spent 11 years working in the UK and overseas, with placements in New York, Taiwan and Hong Kong with his final position as General Manager for the business in China, based in Shanghai. In 2006, he decided to fulfil a long-held desire to become a teacher and returned to Oxford to study for his PGCE.
Alex’s first experience of St John’s was when he visited as part of the inspecting team for the ISI boarding inspection in 2012. He was so enamoured with the School, its community spirit, warmth and the pride that was clearly evident in the pupils and staff that he applied and became Deputy Head a couple of years later (2014 to 2017). Prior to that he held the position of Head of Politics at Dulwich College and ran a day and boarding house at Abingdon School. He left St John’s to take up the Headship of Bedford Modern School (a co-educational independent day school for pupils aged 7-18) which he has led for the last six years.
Alex is a devoted family man and a keen sportsman who has previously coached rugby, cricket and hockey. He has also travelled widely in the Arctic, including spending a winter in North-East Greenland as part of a scientific expedition and participating in a race to the Magnetic North Pole (raising £30,000 for charity).
“I am delighted to be re-joining St John’s, which is already a special place for me and my family. I feel deeply privileged to be given the opportunity to lead a school with such a strong sense of community. I am looking forward to getting to know the pupils, staff and parents and reacquainting myself with those I already know. Going beyond impressive academic and co-curricular achievements, St John’s has an excellent reputation for developing emotionally intelligent, optimistic, resilient pupils, ready to thrive in today’s complex world; I am excited to build on this and develop its vision for the years ahead.”
“This is an exciting appointment and one that comes with the reassurance and comfort of rekindling a prior relationship. The Council is delighted to welcome Alex back. He is an accomplished individual with considerable expertise and leadership experience, commercial acumen, an excellent understanding of the School’s ethos and community, and a passionate drive to work with us to continue our success story.”
John Willis, Chair of Governing Council