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New head is set to take charge of Smallwood Manor

By UttoxeterPostandTimes.3522974.UttoxeterPostandTimes  |  Posted: April 21, 2014

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A NEW head teacher with a ‘passion for learning’ is set to take the helm at a private school near Uttoxeter.

Jeremy Gear is set to succeed current Smallwood Manor Preparatory School head Mike Harrison at the end of the academic year.

Mr Harrison, who was appointed to the role in 2009, is leaving the school to take up a new headship in London.

During his time at the school, the head is said to have has developed innovative methods of teaching and learning that have helped pupils to achieve superb academic results.

A school spokesman said Mr Gear will bring with him an extensive educational experience to the Marchington school, having been head teacher at three schools within the independent sector.

His working knowledge is boosted by roles as both an educational consultant and independent schools’ inspector.

In his new role he will be tasked with further shaping and progressing the ethos implemented by his predecessor.

Mr Gear was appointed after a thorough candidate selection process conducted by the school board, who said they are confident about their choice.

Steven Varley, chairman of governors, said: “We’re delighted and eager to welcome Jeremy to Smallwood Manor and feel excited by his evident energy, passion for learning and comprehension of our ethos - as well as his thoroughly engaging personality.

“During our rigorous interview process, the board felt that Mr Gear presented himself as the perfect successor to Mike Harrison, who has developed the school immensely and been well regarded and respected by pupils, parents and staff alike.

“We believe the school will not only remain in safe hands under Jeremy’s leadership, but also further its exciting evolution, aided by his obvious enthusiasm and innovative ideas.”

Married with three children, Mr Gear said he is a resolute advocate of ‘outdoor’ life and has expressed his keen plans to progress the Forest Schools work at Smallwood.

He told the Advertiser: “I’m delighted to have been selected to take the helm here at Smallwood, and look forward to continuing the school’s good work and standards, as well as bringing in bright new ideas and concepts to further our young peoples’ knowledge.

“The school already presents a thriving environment in which children not only love to learn, but harness ‘life-long learning’ abilities.

“It’s my intention to maintain and develop that ethos, which is evidently nurturing, impassioned and needless to say, is successful.”

Smallwood will create an opportunity to meet the new head teacher in the Trinity term, prior to his official commencement in the role on September 1.

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