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Wanstead High School

Headteacher's Welcome

I am delighted to have been appointed Headteacher of Wanstead High School and am extremely excited to be leading the school on the next stages of its journey of school improvement from September 2022. I will be working closely with Jason Gharu, Acting Headteacher, and the Governing Body over the Summer Term to prepare for September and recruit staff together where there are vacancies, although will not begin the substantive role until then.

Wanstead High has so many strengths, not least the inclusive and warm ethos, that I was lucky enough to experience during the application process, as well as the strong exam results from 2019. We will celebrate and maintain those things that are strengths and ensure that areas for improvement are quickly identified and that the whole school has a clear and transparent plan of action. I am very excited by the new building, albeit being so behind schedule, and am sure that this will have a really positive impact on everyone in the community when it is finally complete.

I am an experienced and successful Headteacher having been Head of Heathcote School for 5 years. I have worked for 26 years in, and with, London schools and love the diversity and ambition of young people in our capital city. I have a 12 year old daughter and she drives my passion and ambition for children, ensuring that all pupils have an opportunity to be the best they can be; finding their interests and talents and ensuring they are nurtured.

I look forward to getting to know the spirited, ambitious and honest pupils in the school – the ones I have met are a credit to themselves and the school – as well as parents and carers.

The staff are passionate and dedicated subject specialists, committed to providing ‘education with character’ for all and capable of ensuring the best quality learning and teaching and results for pupils. It is vital that all pupils have the same opportunities and chances to reach their potential and we will address areas where this is not the case. We need to ensure the curriculum is rigorous, but also romantic, and engages pupils at all levels, as well as being diverse and forward-thinking. I am passionate about developing the full person, ensuring enrichment opportunities for pupils of all ages, and enabling excellent mental health and well-being, supporting pupils and staff through the after-effects of Covid and for the community to continue to grow and flourish.

I wish everyone in the Wanstead community the greatest success with the rest of the year and best wishes to Year 11 and 13 as they start the journey towards their exams and the next stage of their education or work pathway.

Emma Hillman