New Head of Junior School

We are delighted to announce that Mr Gareth Griffiths has been appointed as the new Head of the Junior School from September 2021. Mr Griffiths has a wealth of experience, formerly Headteacher and Executive Head of Bayards Hill Primary and Barton Park Primary. Prior to that Mr Griffiths was Headteacher of Lace Hill Academy.

Mr Griffiths has already started working with Ms Dowson to provide a smooth transition, prior to starting in September.

By way of introduction, Mr Griffiths writes:

“I spent my childhood living on the borders of London and Kent, where I went to Primary and Grammar School. My Sixth Form studies were undertaken in the independent sector, at St Dunstan’s College and, throughout my schooling, my particular interests have been geography, science and sports. I knew I wanted to be a teacher from my early teens and went on to study for my Bachelor of Education degree at DeMontfort University, Bedfordshire.

Since then, I have worked at a variety of primary schools, each with a different demographic background, and in a variety of roles, including several years in Senior Leadership posts. I served my first Headship at Lace Hill Academy, Buckingham, which I opened in September 2015. Currently, I am the Executive Headteacher of two primary schools in Oxfordshire. As I looked to become a school leader within the independent sector, it was important to me to find a school which welcomed children with a broad range of abilities. I aspired to find a school where children could be supported in recognising and achieving their goals, as well as being enabled to increase their own independence and find who they want to be. Akeley Wood was the perfect fit!

Throughout my career, I have set and shared high expectations of learning. I believe all pupils can make progress in their learning, given the right teaching. The success the children enjoy is brought about by clearly set high expectations of teaching, learning and behaviour, coupled with motivation and support. I am a firm believer in positive behaviour management and fostering mutual respect, which are crucial in developing good learning and social behaviours from the start of a child’s school career.

Out of school, I live in Northamptonshire with my partner and our young daughter. We enjoy walking or running together, with our cocker poo. I also enjoy biking, swimming and playing golf; I can regularly be found on the local courses.

I am excited by the new challenge which awaits me, and I very much look forward to meeting you, as the families of Akeley Wood Junior School, in the near future.”

Ms Dowson is moving on, after four years at Akeley to join the National College of Education as a Senior Leadership Tutor on their Masters programme.

Ms Dowson writes:

“After four very happy years at Akeley, working both as Deputy and Head, I made the difficult decision to leave to pursue a new challenge. Many of you know how hugely passionate I am about driving educational improvement, both with Akeley, Cognita and other school both in the UK and globally. My two particular passions lie in developing the curriculum and and developing people. The next step in my career, focuses on the latter. I will be joining the National College of Education as a Senior Leadership Tutor on their Masters programme. It is in fact the same course I completed a few years ago and it had a huge impact on my leadership skills and I am really grateful to have the opportunity to pass that forward to other school leaders.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank the whole Akeley community for welcoming me  with open arms four years ago and the continued support. I feel extremely privileged and lucky to have worked at Akeley, it really is a special place for educationalists to work and also for children to learn and thrive. I am sure it will continue to go from strength to strength under the leadership of Mr Griffiths and the existing team, whose continued hard work, dedicated and commitment to getting the best of the young people in our care is second to none.”

We wish Ms Dowson the very best in her future career and look forward to Mr Griffiths joining as Head.

Junior School Contact Numbers

General number
01908 571231
Admission number
01908 555803

Senior School Contact Numbers

General number
01280 860182
Admission number
01280 828122

Senior & Sixth Form Contact Numbers

General number
01280 814110
Admission number
01280 828122