Ashville Prep School appoints top boss from Dubai as new headteacher

The current head of prep at Dubai’s top independent school has been appointed as the next head of Ashville Prep School in Harrogate.

Asa Firth will be returning to his Yorkshire roots next year after spending the last 14 years at international schools in the United Arab Emirates, including the last six years at JESS (Jumeirah English Speaking School) Dubai.

JESS is Dubai’s top independent school, and is an independent not-for-profit school catering to children up to Year 6.

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Prior to his current appointment, Mr Firth was the deputy head, and before that deputy head at Wellington International School, again in Dubai.

Harrogate appointment - Asa Firth, who is current Head of Prep at Dubai’s top independent school

During his time at JESS, Bingley Grammar School-educated Mr Firth has seen the school expand enormously and gain an exceptional reputation amongst the expat community.

Before developing his career in the Middle East, the 46-year-old – who is married with a young son - was a class teacher in East Morton Primary School.

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Mr Firth, who is a devoted follower of rugby, played at a semi-professional level for Bradford & Bingley Rugby Club, and is also a rugby coach.

Rhiannon Wilkinson, head of Ashville College said: “We are delighted to appoint Asa, to the position of head of prep school at Ashville.

“His record of achievements whilst working in independent schools in the Middle East is remarkable, and for him to be a part of the Ashville staff, provides strength, experience, and insights to what is already a very good part of the school.

“We look forward to seeing him in April next year but until then wish him all the best for the remainder of his time at JESS Dubai.”

Mr Firth, who will take up his position as Ashville College in April 2022, said: “I’m really looking forward to taking up my position at Ashville Prep School next April, and taking it to the next level.

“Ashville Prep School has so much potential. It’s already a good school, but my aim is to make it a great school.

“I want it to play its part not only within the family of Ashville schools, but also within the wider Harrogate community. Before I officially start, it’s my hope to lead an assembly and host a coffee morning.

“And after nearly 14 years in the Middle East, I’m really looking forward to returning back to my home county.”

Founded in 1877, Ashville College is a leading independent day and boarding school for boys and girls aged two to 18 years.