New head in place at George Heriot’s

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A REPLACEMENT headteacher has been appointed at George Heriot’s School in time for the incumbent’s retirement.

Gareth Doodes has been named by the governors of George Heriot’s Trust as the successor to Alistair Hector, who will step down in December after 16 years of service to the school.

A keen cyclist, Mr Doodes, who is the headmaster of Milton Abbey School, a co-educational boarding and day school at Blandford Forum in Dorset, said he was looking forward to the move.

He taught at Taunton School in Somerset and Oakham School, Rutland, earlier in his career before being appointed as deputy head at Milton Abbey School and then taking over the headship.

The father-of-one was educated at Eastbourne College, Sussex, and is a graduate of the University of St Andrews, where he read modern history.

He then went on to gain his teaching qualification from the University of Cambridge.

Mr Doodes said he was impressed by the students he had met so far and was looking forward to getting to know all concerned at Heriot’s.

He also said he was looking forward to relocating to Edinburgh with his wife Jessica, who is a marketing professional, and their eight-month-old son, Humphrey.

He announced his delight on Twitter when he wrote: “Honoured to be joining such an amazing school.”

He added: “I am delighted to have been appointed as principal of one of Scotland’s leading schools. Heriot’s has a reputation for excellence both in terms of academic success and extra-curricular provision.

“The pupils I have met are outstanding individuals, brimming with confidence and pride in their school. I look forward to getting to know them, their parents and the staff, and building upon the admirable work of Alistair Hector when I take up post in January.”

Michael Gilbert, chairman of the governors at George Heriot’s, said the school was saddened to part with Mr Hector – who he said had overseen a successful period – but delighted with his replacement.

Mr Gilbert said: “He will depart leaving the school in very good health, which is testament to his achievements here.”

He added that the governors were confident Mr Doodes would continue to take the school forward.

“We are very much looking forward to Gareth coming and are delighted that he accepted our offer,” he said.

“During the selection process, Gareth’s personality, experience
and leadership qualities shone through. We believe that he has the calibre to maintain our all-round success and take Heriot’s forward
as one of the schools at the
forefront of education in
Scotland.”