27th Jun, 2022

Three headmasters appointed at BKHS - the merged Bablake and King Henry VIII School

Tristan Harris 22nd Feb, 2022 Updated: 22nd Feb, 2022

THREE headmasters have been appointed to the merged Bablake and King Henry VIII School (BKHS).

At King Henry VIII Senior School, having been acting in the role since September 2020, Philip Dearden has been appointed permanently as headmaster.

Before joining the school as deputy head in 2017, Mr Dearden worked in senior roles in the UK and overseas.

He said he was delighted with his new role.

“Having led the School through the various challenges of the last 18 months I am really looking forward to continuing the development of the school.

“We have amazing young people, exceptionally talented staff, and supportive parents, who all make this such an incredible place to work.

“It really is a huge privilege and honour to be entrusted with leading Henry’s forward.”

At King Henry VIII Prep School, Josh Holtby will join as Headmaster in September.

Mr Holtby was previously head of junior school at Gordonstoun in Scotland.

He studied at the University of Warwick and is looking forward to returning to the city.

Mr Holtby said he was looking forward to joining the rest of the new leadership team to build on the success of the schools.

“Visiting, I was struck by the high standards on display and the warmth of the welcome, from the pupils and staff alike, and am excited to join such a vibrant community.”

Warren Honey will become headmaster of Bablake Prep School in September.

He is currently Headmaster at Hydesville Tower School in Walsall and is known to the schools as he previously worked at King Henry VIII.

Mr Honey said he was hugely excited by the new set-up.

“It will be a pleasure and a privilege to be a part of the next stage of the school’s successful journey, and I look forward to working with all staff, pupils and parents.”

Chris Staley, who joins BKHS as Principal in September, was involved in the appointments.

He said: “As the new Principal, it was a thorough and highly competitive process to appoint three new headmasters over the last few weeks.

“I am delighted for them, and it marks a new chapter in the leadership and management of the Foundation.”

The plans to merge Coventry’s two leading independent schools caused controversy with a poll of parents last year showing 95 per cent of them were against the move.

Many said there was a lack of consultation on the plans, while others feared the history of the independent schools would be lost.

Staff also carried out strike action last year, claiming the merger would lead to potential job losses.

People can stay up to date with the ‘Action4 Henry’s & Bablake’ Facebook page.

It is a closed group so people wanting to be part of the discussion will need to request permission to join first.

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