Former school rugby captain returns as head teacher 23 years on

Woodhouse Grove School''James Lockwood
Woodhouse Grove School''James Lockwood
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More than two decades after leaving the halls of Woodhouse Grove School, former pupil James Lockwood is set to return as its headmaster.

He replaces David Humphreys, who led the independent school for 19 years.

Mr Lockwood, who attended the school from 1986 to 1992, will take up the post from January next year.

“Woodhouse Grove made me the best version of myself that I could be. Now I want to make Woodhouse Grove the best version of itself it can be,” he said.

The school, in Apperley Bridge, near Bradford is co ed with both day and boarding pupils.

The father-­of-­two was a boarder himself as well as being head prefect and rugby captain in his final year.

Following his time at Woodhouse Grove, Mr Lockwood went on to study sport science at university in Manchester before gaining a MA with distinction in education management from the University of Surrey.

When reflecting on his time as a pupil, he said he has “generally happy memories” and is now looking to replicate the care he received from his teachers.

“If my students get half out of the school as what I got, then that will be a job well done,”

Mr Lockwood, 41, has praised the ethos of the school, stating that “heartbeat of the school will be the same” as it was in his school days.

Despite not becoming head until 2016, Mr Lockwood has said he intends to be a presence at the school before his takeover.

“I’ll be at a number of events and open days from September, October time. It is all being done to ensure a smooth transition for the students,” he added.

The headmaster, who is currently heading the Royal Hospital School in Suffolk, will be returning to Yorkshire with his family in December.

“I’ve never worked in Yorkshire before, so I’m looking forward to that and also to be returning North.

“My children are also very excited to be nearer their cousins,” he said.

Alan Wintersgill, chairman of governors at Woodhouse Grove School, said: “My fellow governors and I are excited at the prospect of the new and dynamic leadership James Lockwood will bring to the whole school community.

“He has all the experience, ambition and vision to take the school forward.”

Following his departure, Mr Humphreys will become the General Secretary of the Methodist Independent Schools Trust.