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The Governors of Highgate School are delighted to announce the appointment of the new Pre-Prep and Junior School Principals from September 2022. Sally Hancock will succeed Katie Giles as Principal of the Pre-Prep, and Philippa Studd will take over from Mark James as Principal of the Junior School.

Head, Adam Pettitt commented: “I am delighted to welcome both Sally and Philippa as leaders in our Pre-Prep and Junior Schools and am really excited by what they will be able to contribute both to those wonderful schools and to the wider community. I’m really proud that colleagues working at Highgate have come out as such strong contenders for these posts!”

Ms Sally Hancock, new Principal of the Pre-Prep

Sally Hancock Principal Highgate Pre-PrepSally is currently Deputy Principal (Curriculum) in the Pre-Prep which she joined in September 2020 from the Wren Academy where she had been Assistant Headteacher and Acting Primary Headteacher. Prior to this she taught in primary schools in Kuwait, Quito, Cairo and Hong Kong. Sally qualified as a teacher at Plymouth University (Geography and General Primary) and also holds a Master’s degree in applied linguistics from the Open University.

Sally Hancock said: “I am absolutely thrilled to be taking on the role of Principal of the Pre-Prep from September. I feel extremely honoured and privileged to have been chosen to continue to build upon the success the school has achieved under the leadership of Katie Giles. Having thoroughly enjoyed my first year at the Pre-Prep as Deputy Principal, I am excited to be leading the school on the next stage of its journey, including the upcoming period of growth as we welcome additional smiling faces to our wonderful Pre-Prep family and expand to three form entry in Years 1 and 2. I look forward to working in collaboration with our talented and enthusiastic staff and supportive families to ensure our children have a happy and successful start to their education.”

Sally Hancock will be Acting Joint Principal, with Gideon Zucker, from January 2022, after Katie Giles’s departure at the end of Michaelmas term, and will assume her role as Principal in September 2022.

Ms Philippa Studd, new Principal of the Junior School

Philippa Studd Principal Highgate Junior School

Philippa will be well known to pupils and parents in the Junior School. She is currently Deputy Principal (Pastoral) in the Junior School which she joined as Assistant Principal (Pupils’ Personal Development) from Radnor House School in September 2017 having served as Assistant Head there for five years. Prior to this she taught modern languages at Chesterfield High School following teacher training and a degree in French and Hispanic Studies at the University of Liverpool.

Philippa Studd said: “I am delighted to be appointed the first female Principal of Highgate Junior School. It is a privilege to lead the school at such an exciting time in its history as we prepare to welcome our first Junior School Bursary students in September 2022. I have thoroughly enjoyed working with pupils, parents and staff during my five years here and it is an honour to be able to continue to build upon the impressive work and legacy of Mark James. Like him, I want to ensure that the children in our care are given the very best opportunities to thrive and to enjoy the wide range of experiences our wonderful school has to offer. I look forward to seeking out and maximising those opportunities with the support and collaboration of the talented, energetic staff we are so fortunate to work with at Highgate Junior School.”

Mark James will retire in July 2022, having led the Junior School for twenty years. Mark and Philippa will continue to work closely together in the months ahead to ensure a seamless transition.