NGHS has a clear and powerful vision and purpose – to empower girls for extraordinary futures, to equip them with everything they need to be whoever and whatever they want to be. We support our girls and our staff and celebrate all the adventures they enjoy in life.
We are also proud to be a modern organisation. We promote a positive work life balance and support flexible working, just as all forward-thinking organisations offer in the 21st Century. Leading by example, our Senior Leadership Team is made up of a young, diverse, dynamic and passionate group. We have some who work part time, and of course, our Head, Julie Keller, is due to go on maternity leave around Christmas time.
We have often described ourselves as unique, and Julie’s exciting news is the first of its kind in the GDST as she is the first Head to go on maternity leave. Some changes to the Senior Leadership Team will take effect during this time in order to ensure the school’s continued excellence.
Deputy Head, Katrina Handford-Smith will become Acting Head. Katrina’s passion for NGHS is second to none, and she has enjoyed roles throughout the school, beginning as a newly qualified teacher (NQT) and becoming Deputy Head after completing the GDST’s Aspiring Leaders Programme. Already a pivotal leader of the school, Katrina will step seamlessly into the role of Head, focusing on leading the school to continue to achieve excellent academic results, rich and unique enrichment opportunities and expert pastoral care.
Assistant Heads, Rebecca Halse and Lindsay Wharton-Howett, will become Acting Deputy Heads. An excellent example of our modern working practices, Lindsay and Rebecca work part time, four days a week each, and will therefore jointly cover the Deputy Head role.
James Brown will join the SLT again, to lead on teaching and learning as Assistant Head, a role he excelled at recently when covering Lindsay Wharton-Howett’s maternity leave.
The remaining SLT roles remain unchanged, with Laura Fowler heading up the Nursery, Infant and Junior School, Erin Skelton leading the Sixth Form as Assistant Head and Head of Sixth Form, Jeremy Dunn as Director of Finance and Operations and Claire Bale as Director of Marketing.
Julie Keller explains how she feels about this exciting time in her life:
I’m delighted to be starting this new venture as a Mum, and feel confident and excited about the SLT’s roles during my maternity leave. I’m extremely proud to lead such a high functioning, collaborative and supportive team, which is why I’m confident that the SLT will continue to build on all the excellent progress we’ve made since I became Head three years ago. Our academic results are exceptionally strong, our pastoral care is excellent, and our pupil recruitment is stronger than ever. These are all a result of the clear vision we have shared and worked hard to achieve as a leadership team – equipping girls for extraordinary futures. This vision will continue to drive our school as powerfully as always. I’ll be supporting the team every step of the way and I’m already excited to return from maternity leave to this exceptional place.
Please join us in wishing Julie all the very best and we will continue to keep you updated. We hope all of our girls have a wonderful second half of the Autumn Term and we look forward to welcoming everybody back to school next week.