HENRY Price officially starts work on Monday in his shiny new post as head of Wellington School.
He, wife Mary, and their four young children – nine-year-old daughter Poppy, and boys Wilfie, eight, Bertie, five, and Monty, two – are now ensconced at the headmaster’s house opposite the grounds.
Speaking to the County Gazette on GCSE results day, Mr Price said his immediate task was getting to know staff, pupils, parents and feeder schools.
Shadowing a Year 10 pupil (yet to be selected for the task) is among his plans, along with a raft of assemblies. What he certainly won’t be doing is getting stuck in his office, says Mr Price: “It’s not in my nature.”
Formerly senior housemaster at Rugby School in Warwickshire, Mr Price started his teaching career at Sydney Grammar School before moving on to Sherborne.
He replaces Martin Reader, who announced he was stepping down in December 2012 to move closer to family and onto a post at Surrey’s Cranleigh School.
So what does the impending academic year hold? “You are always looking forward to teaching and learning, and doing the best you can,” says Mr Price.
“Then there’s curriculum reform, which is very complicated, and not just for Wellington – any school that says they absolutely know what the right way forward is, isn’t being entirely honest.
“People always want to know what you are going to change – but you shouldn’t change anything before you know exactly what’s in place.
“Change must be considered, not something you’ve done by accident. And the very nature of a new head is in itself a change.”
Outgoing headmaster Martin Reader gave Henry an “extremely helpful document” by way of a window into the workings of the school in what was “quite a long handover period”.
“He wrote me a ‘year in the life of a headmaster’, going from the first day of term in September, through to speech day at the beginning of July.”
He continued: “As head, however long you are here for, you are still another chapter in the history of the school.
“I’m trying to write a good chapter.”