New Headteacher at The Roche School

Last Updated on : 24th May 2024

Jonny Gilbert BA (Cantab.), MA (Cantab.) has been appointed the new Headteacher at The Roche School, a family-owned independent prep school in Wandsworth. Jonny takes over as Head at the start of the 2024-25 school year in September from Vania Adams who is retiring after 14 years at the helm. 

Jonny was appointed Deputy Head when he joined The Roche School 10 years ago. “The Roche School is a very special place. I love working here and want to continue to see it thrive,” he says. “My personal goal in education is to contribute to a school that seeks to ensure the lifelong happiness of the child. This means of course great academics but it also means fostering global citizens with empathy and confidence.”

Jonny will oversee the ongoing expansion of Spanish Bilingual stream, successfully introduced at Reception two years ago. “The next few years will see it develop across the older years. The school’s reputation as the only Spanish bilingual school in London is already growing and I want to build on that and embed the diverse open-minded and global outlook that makes The Roche School stand out.”

During her 14 years tenure as Head, Vania Adams has overseen an expansion in pupil numbers and facilities and reinforced the values-based approach to education that the school was founded on 40 years ago by Carmen Roche and which is encapsulated by ‘The Roche Approach’ (respect, open-mindedness, compassion, humour and effort). She has also overseen a huge commitment to Equality, Diversity and Inclusion which has always involved the parents. As a result, the school is multicultural and full of budding global citizens. “I have loved building the team here – the teachers do so much to foster confidence, creativity and empowerment in children. They are dedicated and authentic and they have a sense of humour. As a result, the school has heart and soul and the children love it.”

Founder and co-proprietor of The Roche School (alongside Dr James Roche), Carmen Roche says that the appointment of Jonny Gilbert as the new Head represents continuity, building on Vania Adams’ achievements. “Having known and worked with Vania for over 30 years, appointing Jonny to take up her baton when she retires as Head this summer seemed a natural progression in the light of his link with Vania both at school and outside through their shared interests. We had faith in Vania and we are confident that Jonny will continue to uphold the same values.”

Two existing staff from the Senior Leadership team, Charlotte Docherty and Ricki Hamilton, will form a co-Deputy Headship team to support Jonny in his new role.

Jonny Gilbert says, “It has been such a pleasure working closely with Vania for the last ten years and we have made a great team. My biggest ‘take away’ from her tenure is to continue to prioritise kindness in responding to children, staff and parents. I want to continue the great work that Vania has done by ensuring that feeling of warmth and kindness continues in tandem with inspirational teaching and learning.”

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