A 'HUGELY valued' secondary school leader has announced his plans to retire at the end of the current academic year.

Jonathan de Sausmarez started his career as a music teacher 39 years ago and has spent the last 22 years in headships.

Initially, he was head teacher at The Henry Beaufort School in Harestock, Winchester and has been at The Romsey School since 2011.

In 2019 the formation of the Gateway Multi-Academy Trust (GMAT) saw a shift in Jonathan’s role from executive head teacher to executive leader bringing with it a host of additional responsibilities.

Mr de Sausmarez said: “The decision was extremely difficult for me personally, but I feel that after some challenging years with the pandemic, it is right that I should hand over the leadership of GMAT in order to plan and grow the trust towards new horizons.

“I have to say, working these past 11 years in The Romsey School, Oakfield Primary School and RCS Ltd has made me feel a combination of joy and pride in working with such talented colleagues and not least our wonderful children and young people who make our trust so special.

“I will miss them all but rest assured, I still have two terms where I will give everything to ensure the highest standards of educational provision.”

Judith Houghton, GMAT chairman of trustees, said: “Governors and trustees have hugely valued Jonathan's leadership and advice over the last 11 years as our organisation has evolved.

“Changes in leadership often cause some nervousness but be assured that we intend to work very hard to find a worthy successor who can build on the Trust development that Jonathan has started for the benefit of all our pupils, staff and the wider community.”

Since being made aware of Jonathan’s impending retirement the trustees have been developing plans to recruit a new executive leader for GMAT.

Ms Houghton added: “As with all senior positions this will be an extensive and robust process. More details on these plans will be shared in due course.”

Mr de Sausmarez added: “I know that 2022 will be an exciting year for the GMAT with a future everyone can look forward to as we undertake a smooth transition to my successor.”