‘A lovely school to work in’ – interim head at Fearnhill School in Letchworth gets the job permanently

New Fearnhill head Liz Ellis outside the school.

New Fearnhill head Liz Ellis outside the school. - Credit: Archant

The governors of a Letchworth secondary school have given top marks to the interim head who arrived last year – and handed her the job for good.

Fearnhill School’s Liz Ellis, who arrived as a stop-gap in September after the departure of long-time head Jed Whelan, will take the reins permanently in September.

“I am absolutely delighted at the opportunity to lead the school into what’s going to be a really exciting future,” she told the Comet.

“I’ve just been blown over by the commitment of the students and the staff to Fearnhill – the students and the community are very loyal to the school.

“It’s a lovely school to work in and the people are very supportive, both inside and outside the school.”


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Liz is an English teacher by subject and has 29 years’ experience, including six at Hitchin’s Priory School. Her career has taken her as far afield as Costa Rica and Ecuador.

She has worked in Herts since 1995, and came to Fearnhill having just spent five years as deputy head at Simon Balle School in Hertford.

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Liz has been interim head for four days a week this year, with deputy head Katharine Lovell leading the school on Fridays.

Ian Mantle, who chairs the governing body at the Icknield Way school, said: “As the governors we are very pleased with how she has handled the whole thing, and how she is taking the school forward into the future.

“She has really taken the staff along with her. All the staff – not just the teaching staff, I hasten to add – get on very well with her. For someone coming into a school that’s always a challenge.

“We are all working together towards a shared vision and it’s something that we, as the governors, believe Liz has done very well – with the invaluable support of the deputy Katharine Lovell, who has been a tower of strength for her.”

Asked about the future, Liz stressed the role played by the Letchworth Garden City Education Partnership, which is now three years old.

“I’m excited about the future growth of the co-operative trust with Highfield School,” she said. “I think that co-operative spirit really chimes in well with the spirit of Letchworth as the first garden city.”

For more information visit fearnhill.herts.sch.uk.

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