St John’s School Leatherhead has appointed its former deputy head Alex Tate as its new head from August 2023.
Mr Tate is currently the head of Bedford Modern School, which he has led for the last six years.
But Mr Tate has not always been a teacher. After studying Modern History at Oxford University, Mr Tate began his career in the shipping industry. He spent 11 years working in the UK and overseas, with placements in New York, Taiwan and Hong Kong and China.
In 2006, he decided to fulfil a long-held desire to become a teacher and returned to Oxford to study for his PGCE.
Mr Tate’s first experience of St John’s was when he visited as part of the inspecting team for the ISI boarding inspection in 2012 and became deputy head a couple of years later. He left St John’s to take up the headship of Bedford Modern School. Mr Tate has also previously held roles at Dulwich College and Abingdon School.
St John’s describes Mr Tate as “a keen sportsman” who has previously coached rugby, cricket and hockey. He has also travelled widely in the Arctic, including spending a winter in North-East Greenland as part of a scientific expedition and participating in a race to the Magnetic North Pole.
Mr Tate said: “I am delighted to be re-joining St John’s, which is already a special place for me and my family. I feel deeply privileged to be given the opportunity to lead a school with such a strong sense of community. I am looking forward to getting to know the pupils, staff and parents and reacquainting myself with those I already know. Going beyond impressive academic and co-curricular achievements, St John’s has an excellent reputation for developing emotionally intelligent, optimistic, resilient pupils, ready to thrive in today’s complex world; I am excited to build on this and develop its vision for the years ahead.”
John Willis, chair of the governing council of St John’s School Leatherhead added: “This is an exciting appointment and one that comes with the reassurance and comfort of rekindling a prior relationship. The council is delighted to welcome Alex back.
“He is an accomplished individual with considerable expertise and leadership experience, commercial acumen, an excellent understanding of the school’s ethos and community, and a passionate drive to work with us to continue our success story.”