Three new heads take up post

New faces join King’s Rochester, The Grange and Gayhurst School

Catherine Openshaw has joined King’s Rochester as headmistress of the pre-prep and nursery, from her previous role at Solefield Preparatory School in Sevenoaks.

Catherine studied at Homerton College, Cambridge, and started her teaching career in Harlow. She will succeed Sarah Skillern, who has led the school through an outstanding ISI inspection and overseen the growth of the school to its current, oversubscribed state. 

Principal of King’s Rochester, Jeremy Walker, added: “I am delighted to welcome Catherine Openshaw into the King’s community and am sure that she will quickly feel at home. She joins a very strong Pre-Preparatory School thanks to the outstanding contribution and hard work of her predecessor, Mrs Skillern and I very much look forward to working with her.” 

At The Grange School in Hartford, Debbie Leonard has taken up headship after a six-year stint as head of Croydon High School. The Grange celebrates the 40th anniversary of its senior school in 2018 and Debbie joins during a period of top exam results.

“I am delighted to be taking on the Headship at The Grange School,” Debbie said. “The School is consistently delivering excellent examination results and this is something we will continue to strive to do. However, for me what is equally important is the provision of a rich and varied programme of enrichment activities. At The Grange School there is something for everyone! Aside from the obvious educational opportunities for the pupils, I am excited by the challenge set for me by the governors of developing a vision for the future which encompasses a significant amount of physical and financial development.” 

Gayhurst School in Buckinghamshire has welcomed Gareth Davies as headmaster following the retirement of Andrew Sims, who held the post for 22 years.

Gareth was previously headmaster of Alleyn Court in Southend and has also acted as an ISI Inspector and governor. He commented: “I am excited to start my role at Gayhurst and build on the fine work of Andrew Sims. The school has an excellent reputation for high academic standards, sport and the arts, which provides pupils with incredible opportunities for personal development. The family ethos and atmosphere at the school is very evident and most appealing and I look forward to getting to know the school and all its stakeholders over this next academic year.”


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