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Rachel Harper: Her Career So Far

7 July 2022
Rachel Harper: Her Career So Far

We were delighted to announce Mrs Rachel Harper as our new Principal earlier this year. To help introduce her to our school community, we talked to Mrs Harper about her career so far, and why she decided to make the step to becoming Principal at Devizes School.

Originally studying Psychology, Rachel started her career in education working part time at George Spencer School in Nottingham as subject leader for A Level Psychology while studying for her post graduate: “It didn’t take me long before becoming a full-time teacher as I loved working with teenagers!”

Since then, Mrs Harper has enjoyed 21 successful years in education, most recently working as Deputy Head at The Ridgeway School on the outskirts of Swindon.

Asked what her biggest career highlight to date was, Rachel said: “Results days every year, the students work incredibly hard, even those who on the surface pretend not to! Seeing students achieve and progress to their next destinations is, to me, one of the best parts of the job.”

At Ridgeway School, Rachel was a core part of the Senior Leadership Team handling the pandemic response. She cited this as her biggest challenge so far in education “The disruption faced by students, staff, and families has and to a lesser degree still is, mammoth.”

“Navigating something when you’ve never experienced anything like it before is daunting. Thankfully I was with a team of fabulous school leaders and a Trust that was agile and responsive.”

Joining Devizes in September marks a new stage in Rachel’s career, becoming a school head for the first time. We asked what made her decide to take on the role: “Devizes has been part of the TWHF for a number of years, and having worked in the trust myself I knew the vision and values at Devizes would be closely aligned to my own.”

“For me being a Principal is about the ‘right fit’ you have to align to the school, and the school has to align with you. The moment I walked in to Devizes and spoke to the Chair of Governors, staff, and students I knew I was in the right place, I’m incredibly honoured, actually delighted to be starting at Devizes in September”

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