New head at the helm of Stamford School

Photo: SM060911-016ow.jpg The new headmaster of Stamford School, William Phelan.
Photo: SM060911-016ow.jpg The new headmaster of Stamford School, William Phelan.
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PUPILS and staff at Stamford School have started the new term under the leadership of a new headteacher.

PUPILS and staff at Stamford School have started the new term under the leadership of a new headteacher.

Will Phelan took over the reins on Tuesday, following in the footsteps of former head Stuart Burns who left the school at Easter.

He brings a wealth of experience from working at independent boys’ schools and a desire to build on the school’s academic successes and reputation in the community.

Mr Phelan said: “Stamford Endowed Schools is seen as a bit of a trailblazer for the diamond structure (the idea of teaching boys and girls together at primary school age, separately until age 16 and then together again at sixth form level).

“When the job came up I realised it would be a fantastic opportunity.

“The town of Stamford is stunning and there is a synergy between what the school thinks is important and what I think is important.”

Mr Phelan was impressed with the school’s academic achievements as well as the focus on art, drama, sport and community service.

He said: “It’s important to emphasise the academic but also provide a broad education to prepare the pupils for life.”

Mr Phelan was educated at Queen Elizabeth’s Hospital School in Bristol. He went on to study medieval and modern history at Royal Holloway in London before travelling to Australia where he planned to pursue a rugby career and also taught at a school.

He suffered an injury which put a stop to his rugby ambitions so he returned to the UK to study for a PGCE at Reading University.

His first job was at the Royal Grammar School in High Wycombe where he worked for 10 years as a history teacher.

He also coached the rugby and cricket teams.

Following a MBA at Leicester University, Mr Phelan went on to Abingdon School in Oxfordshire for three years, where he became head of sixth form.

He was then deputy headteacher at Warwick School.

Mr Phelan, 39, moved to Collyweston with his wife Lorna and their three young children three weeks ago. The school term started on Tuesday.

He said: “The boys are lovely. They are very friendly and approachable.

“There has been a clear evolution in everything the schools are doing and my role is to continue that.

“I’m a strong believer that every area of education is important. I like to see people work hard at everything from the academic subjects to drama, sports and clubs.

“I want the boys to be stretched so they have a good portfolio of things they have done, but not to be stressed. I believe busy boys are happy boys.”

Mr Phelan has had a keen interest in sport over the years and is looking forward to watching the school’s teams play.

His interest in watching England matches has wavered and he admits: “With young children you end up watching more Peppa Pig than anything else.”

In his spare time he hopes to test out some of the golf courses in the area. He is also a member of the MCC and likes to take part in triathlons.