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Chris Hattam, Westbourne’s new headmaster for September 2022

The Governors of Westbourne School have confirmed the appointment of Chris Hattam as the new Head of School from September 2022.

Chris will join Westbourne at the beginning of the next academic year, Sheffield’s only non-selective, co-educational independent school, which focuses on individualised learning to give each child the opportunity to shine.

Over the last twenty years Chris has established a strong track record of leadership in schools, having moved into teaching after working with young offenders and children with social difficulties.

Chris started his career in education at Sedbergh Senior School in Cumbria where he was the safeguarding lead for both the Senior and the Prep School. Alongside teaching philosophy and coaching rugby, hockey and cricket, Chris was a housemaster to sixty 13 to 18-year-old boys.

In 2017, Chris joined The Elms Prep School, a co-educational Prep School for children aged 3 to 13 years as Headmaster and subsequently guided the school to achieve “Excellent” in all categories of a recent Independent Schools Inspectorate (ISI) inspection. Chris has identified a synergy between the ethos and values of The Elms, Sedbergh and Westbourne schools. Here, children are enabled to explore their potential and strive for excellence across a range of interests, maintaining the sanctity of childhood, while helping them to navigate the difficult waters of moving into adulthood.

Chris has a passion for the wilds of the countryside and the arts, which are well suited to Westbourne’s focus on sport, music, art and drama. His wife, Jess, is a paediatric nurse and has worked at Sedbergh as a school nurse. They have three teenage children.

“It’s incredibly exciting to take the helm at Westbourne, which clearly takes great pride in the breadth of pupils’ individual achievements. The school’s ethos, values and nurturing approach complement my own experience and are the style of teaching and learning that I want to be a part of.

This is a wonderful opportunity to bring together my passion for education across Pre-School, Junior School and Senior School. I look forward to guiding the Westbourne School community and building upon the incredible legacy that the current headmaster, John Hicks passes on.”

Dorrien Peters, Chair of Governors said:

“There was no shortage of strong candidates for this key leadership position, but after a painstaking recruitment process, Chris was the unanimous choice of the governing body. His recruitment coincides with a pivotal stage in the school’s development with the opening of a fantastic new school building in September which will cater for year-on-year growth and transform our junior school provision. It was clear that Chris was the right candidate to lead the school community at this key milestone and into the future. Westbourne School would be just buildings without our brilliant staff team, so the Governors and staff look forward to working with Chris to build upon Mr Hicks’ legacy to continue and improve upon the already excellent standard of education we offer at Westbourne School.”


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