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Principal of Stamford School Will Phelan is leaving post this summer

A secondary school principal is leaving the post this summer.

Will Phelan has been at Stamford School for 13 years and is returning to his home city of Bristol.

Mr Phelan joined the school in 2011 and served as head of the boys’ school before becoming principal five years later.

Principal Will Phelan is leaving Stamford School this summer
Principal Will Phelan is leaving Stamford School this summer

He has overseen several changes during his time in Stamford, including the merger of Stamford School and Stamford High School so that boys and girls of all ages are taught in classrooms together.

In December the headteacher role at Stamford School was made redundant, a position occupied by Vicky Buckman.

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At the time, Mr Phelan blamed “the threat of VAT on fees posed by a new Labour government” for the pre-emptive cost-saving.

Mark Steed will be interim principal of Stamford School
Mark Steed will be interim principal of Stamford School

Despite having faced criticism over some of the changes he has overseen at the school, including making it co-educational and changes to uniforms, and an extension of the science block, Mr Phelan said: “I’m hugely proud of what’s been achieved during my time at Stamford.

“I am also proud of the students that have passed through the school while I have been head and principal.

“I am sad to be leaving this brilliant school, but this is the right time and I have at least one more challenge left in me.”

Mr Phelan has accepted a headship at Clifton High School, a private school in the Clifton area of Bristol, the city where he grew up.

Stamford School has appointed Mark Steed to replace Mr Phelan.

He will take over as interim principal at the start of the new school year in September.

Mr Steed will join Mr Phelan in the summer term on a part-time basis to ensure an efficient transition for the schools.

He is a former principal of Berkhamsted School, of Jumeirah English Speaking School in Dubai and, more recently, of Kellett School, the British international school in Hong Kong.

Tom Cartledge, who chairs the school governors at Stamford, said: “Mr Phelan has successfully overseen one of the biggest changes in the history of Stamford School and we are sad to see him leave, but grateful for all he has done and his dedicated service to the schools. I have really enjoyed my time working with him and he leaves with our very best wishes.”

Tom Cartledge chairs the governors of Stamford School
Tom Cartledge chairs the governors of Stamford School

Mr Steed, whose daughter attended Stamford Junior School, said: “I am delighted to be joining Stamford in September.

“It is a great school that is delivering a high-quality education in so many areas. I am very much looking forward to being part of the Stamford community once again.”

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