New head of RGS Dodderhill
Tom Banyard has been appointed as the new head of RGS Dodderhill in Droitwich Spa, Worcestershire.
Banyard is currently head of King’s College International School Bangkok, part of the KCS Wimbledon group of schools.
Banyard has a first class honours degree in physics from The Queen’s College, Oxford, as well as a teaching qualification from Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford. He began his teaching career at Tonbridge School in Kent, before joining King’s College School, Wimbledon in London. At KCS Wimbledon, he was promoted to the senior leadership team in charge of teaching and learning. From there, he took the unorthodox route of moving abroad, helping KCS to set up its first international schools. Initially he spent a year as director of co-curricular activities and head of international school in Hangzhou, China, before taking on the headship of King’s College International School Bangkok in 2019. During this period, he has worked with children aged two to 18, teaching physics and chemistry to the senior students and being fully involved in the wider communities at each school, with a particular passion for coaching football, cricket and basketball.
He has three daughters: Edith (six years old), Nina (five years old) and Ada (one year old) and his wife Rachel who grew up in Droitwich and is a primary teacher.
Banyard was the unanimous choice by the recruitment panel of governors, which included long-standing governor of Dodderhill, Katie Wormington. He was chosen after a rigorous recruitment process from a field of more than 50 applicants, with 16 candidates interviewed at long-list stage and then four candidates invited for interview at shortlist, for which Banyard flew in from Bangkok. He was also chosen by a panel of former RGS Dodderhill pupils, now in the sixth form at RGS Worcester.
Quentin Poole, chair of governors, said: “Tom joins us with a wealth of experience from working in some of the leading schools in the UK and abroad. He is already a very successful head who will build upon the achievements of Sarah Atkinson. Sarah leaves us in April 2023 to become head of West Buckland Prep School and has done a superb job in placing RGS Dodderhill in a really strong position for the future. Tom’s own academic and teaching achievements speak for themselves and he is looking forward to meeting pupils, staff and parents. We look forward to welcoming his family to the RGS Family.”
Banyard commented: “I have heard and read so many lovely things about the school, the staff and the families. However, after I visited the school I fell in love with the grounds and the magical sense of community I felt when I entered the campus. Parents, pupils and staff all went out of their way to make me feel welcome and it was clear that everyone was working together to produce happy, polite and successful young women and men. This is not only a school I would like to help on its journey, it is also the school I wish for my daughters. Edith and Nina are already very excited about joining RGS Dodderhill and Ada will join when she’s old enough. I am so excited to meet the families and staff and I am looking forward to us all working together to help our children thrive.”
John Pitt, executive head of The RGS Family of Schools, said: “We look forward to welcoming Tom and his family and seeing him build upon the success achieved by Sarah Atkinson and the staff at RGS Dodderhill. The strength of the field and the quality of this appointment of head are reflections of the achievements of RGS Dodderhill and the reputation of The RGS Family of Schools. Parents should be reassured by the high calibre of the new head, who has worked at several prestigious schools. He and his family also know the local area and his three girls and his wife, Rachel, look forward to joining the RGS Family. We look forward to seeing RGS Dodderhill continue to thrive under Tom’s leadership.”