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Somersfield principal departs after one year

Peter Howe, head of school at Somersfield Academy (File photograph)

The head of school at Somersfield Academy has stepped down after one year in the position.

Peter Howe, who took up the job at the beginning of the 2021-22 academic year, was to leave effective on Friday to “seek a different opportunity for the next phase of his career in educational leadership”, according to a message to parents sent yesterday by the school’s board.

The message said the board understood the magnitude of “managing an educational institution in an unfamiliar environment during a global pandemic”.

The board promised an orderly transition for the first term of the 2022-23 school year, adding that it would “commence a search to secure a successor”.

The hiring of Mr Howe, from Canada, was announced by the school in March 2021 as Carlos Symonds, the previous head teacher, prepared to step down.

Mr Symonds was appointed to the role in 2015.

In its initial announcement, the board highlighted Mr Howe’s extensive background with the International Baccalaureate programme.

He was hired for the job as the school, in Devonshire, marked the “significant milestone” of its first class of secondary school students graduating with diplomas earned through the IB programme.

He was said to have been selected from more than 150 applicants worldwide.

The message did not specify whether Mr Howe had resigned or was dismissed from the position.

A member of staff at Somersfield Academy who spoke with The Royal Gazette yesterday said a query on Mr Howe’s departure would be passed on to the school’s board.

Mr Howe is to “remain available to the leadership team in an advisory capacity until the end of October to ensure a smooth hand-over”, the message added.

Janice Outerbridge, head of the children’s house and lower primary division according to Somersfield’s website, was named as the interim head of school for the transition period, and will work on a leadership team with Charlie Judd, the secondary division head.

Both will remain as heads of their departments. The board message said they would be supported by Roger Marshall, the chief financial officer and chief operating officer.

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Published July 04, 2022 at 12:05 pm (Updated July 04, 2022 at 12:05 pm)

Somersfield principal departs after one year

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