Meet the Head

The school governors are delighted to announce the appointment of Christopher Skelton as Head of Newland House school from September 2019 and successor to David Alexander who retires at Easter this year.

Mr Skelton is currently Deputy Head (Academic) at Newton Prep, an independent co-educational preparatory school in Battersea and previously was Deputy Head (Pastoral) at Dulwich College Junior School.

The governors are confident that Mr Skelton will lead the School with dedication and energy and that under his direction Newland House will have an opportunity to build on the momentum of recent years, and develop its position as a leading prep school in SW London. 

Please note that Victoria Savage is Acting Head from Easter 2019 until Mr Skelton joins the school in September.

Please see the personal message from Mr Skelton below:

It is my great pleasure to introduce myself as the new Head of Newland House from September next year. I could not be more delighted to be offered the chance to lead such a successful and well-regarded Prep School and to follow the outstanding work that David Alexander has achieved.

I began my career working in two London state primary schools which provided me with an ideal foundation in teaching across a breadth of subjects and an opportunity to begin to develop my own educational viewpoints and values. Much is written about standards in state schools, but I have benefited through first-hand experience some of the cutting-edge practice that goes on, much of which I have embedded in my current and previous roles. Ensuring that Newland House offers a modern educational experience for all of our pupils, based on up-to-date educational research, will be right at the top of my list of priorities.

I am currently the Academic Deputy Head at Newton Prep but previously worked as the Deputy Head at Dulwich College Junior School with overall pastoral responsibility. It was here that I really understood how important providing the right pastoral care in a school is. Newland House has an excellent reputation in this regard and I am a firm believer that if you create an environment where children feel happy and secure, they will thrive in every aspect of their school life. 

Newton Prep is similar to Newland House both in terms of the age range of the children and also in a shared commitment to developing the whole child and maintaining a balanced curriculum, despite the pressures that come from the senior school transfer process. My educational philosophy in many ways is a simple one. It is about ensuring that the core business of a school, in providing excellent teaching and maximising the learning opportunities that children have, ensures that they all at least reach, and many exceed their potential, and that this is at the heart of all that is done. This is something that you will hear me speak about on many occasions in the future and I do not apologise for keeping this at the very centre of everything that I will strive for when in post next year. In order to fulfil this, children’s personal development will continue to be prioritised. In today’s world which continues to change at an ever-increasing pace, we need our young people to be adaptable, to be able to collaborate effectively, to think critically and most of all to be resilient. This will continue to be a feature of what we offer at Newland House. 

Finally, I am very aware that as the Head of this leading Prep School, I will be responsible for ensuring that our pupils are properly prepared for the excellent range of senior schools that they will ultimately join. Providing them with an outstanding education is the best way of achieving this, but behind the scenes, over the next few months, I will be maintaining and establishing the best possible personal links with the Heads in the schools that your children will be applying to. 

I hope that you and your families have a rewarding and successful school year and I very much look forward to meeting you all next September, if not before.

Chris Skelton, INCOMING HEAD

David Alexander, Head of Newland House School          (September 2010 - April 2019)

David Alexander retired at Easter 2019 following nine successful years at Newland House School during which he has led the school through a period of positive and focused development, enriching not only the educational experience for the children but also innovatively expanding the school environment, and building on our reputation for providing excellent education for boys and girls within the local community.

I was recently asked by a prospective parent what a typical Newlandian pupil looked like. My immediate response was to affirm that every pupil is an individual and cannot be pigeonholed or typecast simply because they attend a particular school. Our pupils' successes are the result of all we do at the school to allow an individual’s confidence to develop and their own unique qualities to shine.

By offering a diverse curriculum and enhanced extra-curricular opportunities, children find success not just academically, but in music, sports, Design Technology and the Arts. I believe our job is to create a thirst for learning which cannot happen from the classroom environment alone. The school provides a springboard to academic, social and personal success and development – a fertile environment in which children can flourish.

However, a natural by-product of this process is that, inevitably, the school’s own ethos rubs off. By the time they leave us, our atypical Newland House pupils will have acquired a set of standards and morals that are distinctively ours. It is this foundation that provides them with the maturity to develop their own personal aspirations and the confidence to believe that they can achieve them in the years ahead.

David Alexander,
Head