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Holcombe Grammar School in Chatham has announced the appointment of Lee Preston as its new Principal from January.
An exceptional school leader, with more than 12 years’ leadership experience, Mr Preston will join Holcombe Grammar School (HGS) at the start of new term in January 2020.
Mr Preston, born and raised in Kent, has worked in schools in the county throughout his career and is currently Deputy Headteacher at another local school, Thomas Aveling School in Rochester, where he has led on school improvement and raising standards, and played an important role in the school being rated Good by Ofsted.
Prior to his current role at Thomas Aveling School, Mr Preston served as an Assistant Head at Hayes School in Bromley and before that he was an Assistant Head of Year at Cator Park School in Beckenham.
Mandy Gage will continue supporting both Holcombe Grammar School and the Victory Academy also in Chatham, in her role as Director of Education, Chatham for Thinking Schools Academy Trust.
This appointment comes at an exciting time for HGS, which has recently been accredited by the University of Exeter as a ‘Thinking School’. In their report, the University of Exeter’s Graduate School of Education praised the school for “actively seeking opportunities to continuously drive improvements in learning and teaching” and “creating a positive learning culture.”
Prior to joining Thinking Schools, the school, then known as Chatham Grammar School for Boys, was rated ‘Inadequate’ by Ofsted. Since joining the Trust, it has been transformed and is now rated ‘Good’ by Ofsted, with inspectors noting how the school’s “vision to develop pupils’ thinking skills was having a positive impact on the quality of learning and teaching.”
Lee Preston, incoming Principal of Holcombe Grammar School, said:
“I am delighted to have been appointed as the new Principal at Holcombe Grammar School. I very much look forward to getting started in January and working closely with staff, students, parents and the whole school community, to ensure that the school provides students with the very best education possible and support to students to succeed both academically and personally.”
Mandy Gage, Director of Education, Chatham, Thinking Schools Academy Trust said:
“We are delighted that Lee Preston will be Holcombe Grammar School’s new Principal. We are confident that Lee is the right person for the role. He already knows the area and local community well and his expertise in driving school improvement, promoting high standards and achievement, will make him a fantastic person to lead the strong team already in place at the school. I look forward to working closely with Lee and the wider leadership team to ensure that the school continues on its strong upward trajectory.”
Stuart Gardner, Chief Executive, Thinking Schools Academy Trust, said:
“We are excited to welcome Lee Preston to Holcombe Grammar School. He brings considerable knowledge and experience to the role and we look forward to working closely with him to build on the school’s impressive achievements to date.”