Mike and Caroline take the lead at St John’s

St John's School headteacher Mike Burgess with deputy Caroline Ward. Ref shs 7908-49-15SH. Picture:

St John's School headteacher Mike Burgess with deputy Caroline Ward. Ref shs 7908-49-15SH. Picture: Simon Horn - Credit: Archant

St John’s School has a new headteacher keen to promote its presence within Sidmouth – while keeping a global perspective.

Mike Burgess has taken over the role from Simon Larter, who has moved on to a job in marketing, still in the education sector.

Mr Burgess has Caroline Ward, the former head of science and head of sixth form, as his deputy.

“We have a remarkable school community which really does bring out the best in everybody,” said Mr Burgess, a former student at The King’s School.

“My aim is to develop that further and exploit the international opportunities on offer. It’s an international perspective but from the security and comfort of the Sid Valley. I would like to make people aware that this is a local school – 75 per cent of our pupils are from the Sid Valley and the local area.”

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Mr Burgess is a maths teacher by trade and said it is important to him to retain classroom time, despite his busy timetable. He worked in international roles before he returned to his roots in East Devon.

“When you travel the world you really start to appreciate where you come from,” said Mr Burgess.

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He has been working in education since 2002, previously as the director of inclusion at Sidmouth College.

Mum-of-three Mrs Ward has overseen the formation of the school’s sixth form, which she said required the students to take a ‘leap of faith’ with their A-levels, but it is paying off. She qualified as a teacher after university but spent 12 years working in IT for various London law firms before returning to education.

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