Headteacher appointment

Following the departure of Ms Claire Syms at the end of the last academic year, and after an extensive search process for her replacement, Mr Toby Mills-Bishop has been appointed as the new permanent Headteacher.

Throughout the recruitment process, Mr Mills-Bishop engaged very well with pupils and parents, staff members along with the Local Advisory Board. His ideas to further broaden the curriculum and enrichment opportunities for the pupils, as well as his knowledge of the local area, really inspired us for the future of Halley House School. You can read an interview with Mr Mills-Bishop on his thoughts about Halley House School on the BPET website.

Currently, Mr. Mills-Bishop is serving as the Headteacher at Waterside Academy (Hertfordshire) based within a multi-academy trust, and he is also an Executive Headteacher supporting a school in difficulty. His commitment to excellence and innovative approaches to teaching and learning were recognised in Waterside’s most recent Ofsted report. The report states: “under Mr. Mills-Bishop’s leadership, Waterside Academy has achieved remarkable progress, with a strong emphasis on academic achievement, pupil well-being and a culture of inclusivity.”

Following Ms Syms resignation in May, we unfortunately missed the national resignation date for any existing Headteachers to take up a new post in September 2023, which was the previous April. However, we were keen to get the right leader for the school who would be there long term, and are confident that Mr. Mills-Bishop’s passion for education, his leadership skills, and his dedication to providing an outstanding educational experience for every child align perfectly with the values and ethos of Halley House and the Bellevue Place Education Trust.

As Mr Mills-Bishop is a current Headteacher, he will not be able to start the role until 1 January 2024. We have, therefore, appointed Mr Gavin Farrell as the Interim Headteacher for the autumn term (2023/2024). Mr Farrell is a former Headteacher who has recently taken some time out of education to care for a relative. While he seeks the right role for him, he has accepted the position of Interim Headteacher at our school. He successful led his previous school, Crown Lane Primary School (Lambeth, London) for five and a half years, in a similar community context to the one we have at Halley. The school is judged Good by Ofsted, with another positive report published recently.

We understand that transition periods can be a source of concern for parents, and we want to assure you that Mr Farrell will work closely with Mr Mills-Bishop and the existing Senior Leadership Team on the School Development Plan which was outlined by Ms Syms. The focus of Mr Farrell’s work will be on the induction of new pupils and new staff to the school, and delivering the agreed School Development Plan, monitored by the Local Advisory Board and the BPET central team. The BPET’s Director of Education will be in the school one day a week too, supporting this transition period.