Staff appointments: January 2022

Independent Education Today congratulates the following on their recent appointments

Burgess Hill Girls

Lars Fox


Burgess Hill Girls has appointed Lars Fox as its next head. He will replace Liz Laybourn from September 2022. German-born Fox is a supporter of all-girls education and has spent the past 20 years in the sector in Newcastle, Durham and then York as acting head.

He said: “Having invested my entire professional life in the success of girls, I understand the reality of the challenges of gender equality and whilst perhaps never having experienced these challenges personally, I have developed strategies for success beyond those challenges, ensuring women are ‘at the table’ making decisions.”

Highfield School

Suzannah Cryer


Suzannah Cryer has been appointed as the next head of Highfield School. She will replace Phillip Evitt next September. Currently deputy head at Thomas’s Prep School in Battersea, Cryer previously had a seven-year association with Highfield, leading the drama department on joining the school in 2012 and becoming head of boarding in 2016.

She said: “I am very excited about returning to Highfield and building on the incredible platform that has been laid by Phillip. My family has strong links with this wonderful school and to be returning as head is truly a real privilege.”

Bromsgrove School

Michael Punt


Bromsgrove School has announced the appointment of Michael Punt as its next headmaster. He will join the Worcestershire school in August 2022. Punt has been headmaster of Chigwell School since 2007 and was previously deputy head academic at The Perse School. He has an MA in physics from St Peter’s College and an MSc in semi-conductor science and technology from Imperial College London.

Commenting on Bromsgrove School, Punt said: “It is a school whose vision and values chime closely with my own and I am thrilled to be joining such a very special community.”

Kilgraston School

Tanya Davie


Kilgraston School has appointed Tanya Davie as its next headteacher. She will take over from Dorothy MacGinty in April 2022, who will retire after seven years in the role. Davie is currently academic deputy head at St Bede’s College in Manchester, where she was previously head of mathematics and physical education. She also has extensive experience in girls’ schools.

Davie has a close affinity with Scotland, having spent eight years teaching in Edinburgh. She commented on her appointment: “What I hope to bring to Kilgraston is an energy and enthusiasm to carry on and develop the spirit and success of this incredible school.”

Taunton School

James Johnson


Taunton School has appointed a new head and CEO. James Johnson, currently head of senior school at Ardingly College, will take up the position in September 2022, replacing Lee Glaser who is standing down after eight years. Johnson began his career as an English teacher at Cheltenham College, before becoming a housemaster at Tonbridge School in Kent and joining Ardingly College in 2016.

He read English at University College London, took an MPhil at Trinity College, Dublin and completed his PGCE at Cambridge University. Johnson said he is “excited” to meet pupils, staff, parents and alumni over the coming months.

Aldenham Foundation

Alex Hems


Aldenham Foundation (the group encompassing Aldenham School, Aldenham Prep School, Aldenham Nursery, St Hilda’s Prep School and Bluebird Nursery) has announced the appointment of its next head, Alex Hems, who will start in September 2022. Her current post is as head of St George’s School in Edinburgh.

Educated at St Helen’s Northwood and Somerville College, Oxford, she began her teaching career at Alleyn’s School, before working at St Paul’s Girls’ School, North London Collegiate School and Francis Holland School. She was then appointed as deputy head of Wycombe Abbey.

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