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Leadership Team

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  • Mr Richard Nicholson - Foundation Principal

    Published 03/03/22

    A former chorister at Southwell Minster, Richard Nicholson was a Music Scholar at Denstone College before being elected as Organ Scholar at Pembroke College, Oxford, where he read Music.

    Mr Nicholson began his teaching career in West London before moving on to Director of Music at St Catherine's School, Bramley.

    Following a number of senior leadership roles at The Lady Eleanor Holles School in Hampton, Middlesex, he became Head Master of King’s High School, Warwick in 2015, a school in the Warwick Independent Schools Foundation, and the first Principal of the Foundation in 2020.

    Amongst numerous interests, Mr Nicholson is a trustee of the Warwickshire Music Education Trust, and a Governor of Headington School. He is a passionate advocate of the Arts in the life of every pupil, and of innovation in education. 

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  • Mr James Barker - Head Master of Warwick School

    Published 07/03/22

    Mr Barker's history with Warwick School goes back to September 1991 and his first day as a pupil. Having studied History, Politics and Economics at A Level and captained the 1XV in his final year, he went on to read Philosophy at Cardiff University.

    He began his teaching career at Banbury School and later held posts as Upper Master at Abingdon and Assistant Head Co-curricular at the Royal Grammar School Worcester. Mr Barker re-joined Warwick as Deputy Head, Co-curricular in 2015 and became Senior Deputy Head in 2018. He was appointed Head Master of Warwick School in June 2020.

    Mr Barker plans to return to the classroom and teach Theology and Philosophy again, as well as join the Year 7 Music Scheme and learn an orchestral instrument from scratch alongside the entire year group. Mr Barker is also often seen out on the sports fields, refereeing a game of rugby or umpiring a cricket match. He is well known in the Foundation and local area for his commitment to Warwick School’s vision of ensuring that every boy is celebrated, fulfilling their potential, and pursuing their ambitions.

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  • Dr Stephen Burley - Head Master of King's High School

    Published 06/03/22

    Dr Stephen Burley studied English Literature at University College London, taking a first-class degree on to St Catherine’s College, Oxford where he completed an M.Phil before returning to London for an interdisciplinary PhD thesis.  

    After appointments which include The King’s School, Canterbury and Sevenoaks School, Dr Burley then joined Headington School, Oxford as Head of English. In January 2017 he became Deputy Head Academic at King’s High, Warwick, before his promotion to Head Master in 2021.   

    Dr Burley’s passion for education is founded on his belief that inspirational teaching transforms lives. He believes that wellbeing and happiness should be at the heart of every student’s experience. He is an advocate of dynamic, forward-thinking, innovative education that develops the confidence and skills that prepare young people to be the Changemakers of the future.  

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  • Hellen Dodsworth - Head Mistress of Warwick Prep School

    Published 05/03/22

    Hellen Dodsworth studied Music and Education at Warwick University and held various leadership positions, including Headship, in outstanding primary schools, before being appointed Headmistress of Warwick Preparatory School in 2016. Mrs Dodsworth also holds the NPQH.

    Whilst the pursuit of academic excellence is a given, and an area in which Warwick Prep understandably excels, wellbeing is at the very heart of the school. Mrs Dodsworth firmly believes that nothing is more important than a happy, confident child, ready to take on the world. Intrinsically linked to this is outdoor play, which has seen substantial investment, driven by Mrs Dodsworth's vision to promote effective learning through play. Co-curricular opportunities abound as well, to nourish the mind, body, and soul.

    Mrs Dodsworth is truly passionate about shaping opportunities and experiences to ensure children reach their full potential. She is a strong advocate for the power of Pupil Voice and recognises the privilege of educating tomorrow’s leaders.

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  • Mrs Victoria Espley - Foundation Bursar

    Published 04/03/22

    Mrs Victoria Espley joined Warwick Independent School Foundation as Foundation Bursar in September 2021. After graduating in Economics and Finance, Victoria worked in Financial Services, leading a range of diverse teams across the globe.  Having enjoyed a number of voluntary roles within educational charities, she moved into the education sector, becoming Bursar at Westcott House and then Hughes Hall, Cambridge.  Whilst at Cambridge, Victoria was Chair of the Bursars’ Committee General Purchasing Committee which oversaw procurement across the Cambridge Colleges.  She was also a Director of Meet Cambridge, the venue-finding service owned and managed by Cambridge Colleges. 

    Victoria was Vice Chair of Governors at St Mary’s Cambridge until summer 2021 and is currently Chair of Coleridge Community College Local Governing Body.  

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  • Mr Andrew Hymer - Head Master of Warwick Junior School

    Published 03/03/22

    Formerly Head of Wolverhampton Grammar Junior School, which he impressively started up from scratch in 2011, Andrew Hymer has 34 years’ teaching experience. After studying Ancient History and Classical Archaeology at Sheffield Univeristy, he briefly joined the police before training as a teacher.

    Mr Hymer taught in five different schools prior to becoming head of Wolverhampton Grammar and for nine years was the deputy head at King’s Hawford School in Worcester. Previous posts included seven years at RGS Worcester, four years at a middle school in Warwick and three years at Ashville College in Harrogate.

    Mr Hymer has always liked the energy and enthusiasm of junior aged children, and still teaches History. He is really passionate about the benefits of outdoor adventure skills, and of learning about every individual boys’ strengths, challenges and interests.

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  • Mr James Mercer-Kelly - Head Master of The Kingsley School

    Published 02/03/22

    In contrast to graduating from the University of Oxford with a degree in Chemistry, Mr Mercer-Kelly enjoys the Arts, gardening, and travelling, which has inspired him in recent years to learn Italian. He is a passionate advocate of girls’ education, working at single-sex girls’ schools for the past sixteen years. A highly skilled leader with a rare mix of pastoral and academic experience, he was Assistant Head (Pupil Development) at Headington School, Oxford before taking up the role of Senior Deputy Head at Wycombe Abbey School.  Mr Mercer-Kelly joined the Foundation as Headteacher at The Kingsley School in January 2022.

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