Solihull School appoints five new heads of departments

Promotions and new arrivals.

Solihull School has strengthened its reputation for top-class teaching and management with the appointment of five new Heads of Departments, effective from September 2014.

Tim Kermode is moving from Alleyn’s School in south London to become the new Director of Music, while Paul Morgan and Donna Trim have been promoted to Head of Modern Languages and Head of Art respectively.

Eleanor Hurst and Rachel Hadley-Leonard will be furthering their association with the independent coeducational school in Warwick Road in the role of Director of Learning Support and in the newly created position of Marketing Manager respectively.

David E J J Lloyd, Headmaster of Solihull School, said: “I am delighted to have been able to make such high-calibre appointments as the School looks forward to an outstanding future with some of the finest staff and facilities in the Midlands, including a new state-of-the-art Sixth Form Centre opening in September 2015.”

Tim Kermode, an accomplished choral singer and director, and orchestral conductor, will succeed Stephen Perrins – who has been made Director of Music Emeritus – in heading up one of the strongest school music departments in the region. He said: “I am looking forward to instilling a passion for music throughout the School and helping every pupil to achieve their potential, as well as continuing to develop Solihull’s reputation for the highest standards of musical performance.”

Paul Morgan, the new Head of Modern Languages, will succeed Merilyn Barrett who is retiring after 35 years’ service to Solihull School. Paul, who joined Solihull as a Teacher of Modern Foreign Languages in 2006, will oversee one of the School’s largest and most popular departments, with eight specialist staff teaching French, German and Spanish from GCSE to A-Level. He commented: “I am extremely keen to promote the learning of modern foreign languages throughout the School and maintain its excellent record in exam success. I also aim to raise awareness of the importance of speaking a foreign language in a changing modern world and celebrate cultural and linguistic diversity.”

Donna Trim will succeed John Nickson as Head of Art following John’s retirement after 33 years’ service to the School. Donna, who joined Solihull as a Teacher of Art and Photography in 2007, will oversee an Art Department with a national reputation as a centre of excellence and an outstanding success rate in A-Level and GCSE examinations.

A graduate in Fine Art from Coventry University and a specialist figurative painter, Donna is one of four full-time staff teaching a wide range of art forms in superb facilities that include a ceramics and sculpture room, studio and life drawing area, and two computer and photography rooms.

Rachel Hadley-Leonard will help to reinforce Solihull’s reputation for academic excellence and community involvement, with a particular focus on brand development, digital marketing and pupil recruitment, as Marketing Manager.

A member of the Senior Leadership Team, Rachel developed a long-held interest in marketing throughout more than 20 years of teaching at five maintained and independent schools, including Solihull Junior School where she taught English and PE. She is also highly experienced in the wider corporate world having marketed two diverse businesses of her own and helped other small businesses to develop.

Eleanor Hurst, who joined Solihull School in 2002 to support individual pupils, is to be the new Director of Learning Support. She is used to interacting with a wide cross-section of pupils as a Lieutenant in the School’s CCF and by helping with the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme.

A graduate in Ancient History & Archaeology from the University of Birmingham, Eleanor worked as a Curator at the British Museum in London before gaining a specialist dyslexia teaching qualification. She said of her new appointment: “I love helping pupils, who are often very articulate and creative but who find it hard to put their ideas into writing, to overcome their difficulties and reach their potential.”