Rowena Cole appointed new head of St John’s School Leatherhead

The governors of St John’s School, Leatherhead are delighted to announce the appointment of Rowena Cole as the School’s new head.

Rowena will take up her post at the beginning of the Autumn Term in September 2017 and will succeed Martin Collier who has been appointed as Master of Haileybury. She brings a track record of strong academic and pastoral leadership gained in both the independent and state sectors.

In her current role as head teacher of Dunottar School in Reigate, Rowena has led a significant turnaround of the school, increasing admissions, improving academic performance and rapidly enhancing pastoral and co-curricular provision.

This turnaround also included a very successful transition to co-education. Previously, in her role as the deputy head of Guildford High School, Rowena was responsible for both the academic and pastoral activities for a school with almost 1,000 pupils aged four to 18 years old.

Earlier in her career, Rowena spent a number of years teaching Biology working in the state sector as well as at City Of London Freemen’s School.

Rowena has an excellent understanding of the local education market having grown up in Surrey, attending Downsend School and then Tormead School in Guildford.  She studied Biological Sciences at Exeter University, where she was awarded a first-class degree, and then went on to gain a PGCE before taking up her first teaching post.

In more recent years, Rowena gained an MBA in Educational Leadership from the University of London. She is married to Alistair, and has two young children.

Commenting on this announcement, John Willis, Chair of Governors said: “We are delighted by this appointment.  Rowena was selected from a very experienced and high calibre field of candidates. Her energy, empathy and intellect set her apart and we are thrilled that she will be joining the School at this exciting time. Rowena is not only a talented science teacher, she also has shown herself to be a motivated and well-regarded Head Teacher, driving academic improvement whilst maintaining a strong focus on the pastoral well-being of pupils.  She will be an excellent leader of St John’s and is a worthy successor to Martin Collier. We look forward to welcoming Rowena to the School at the start of the next academic year.”

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Rowena added: “I am very excited to be taking up the headship at St John’s next year and to leading such a strong and welcoming community.  I have been impressed by how the School has embraced change in recent years whilst still retaining its core values. I feel that St John’s is well placed to build on its flourishing reputation and make further exceptional progress over the coming years. I look forward to meeting pupils, parents, staff and Old Johnians soon.”