We are delighted to appoint Mr Will Phelan

Head of School Appointment

We are delighted to announce that after a rigorous selection process, the Governors have appointed Mr Will Phelan as the new Head of Clifton High School, beginning in September 2024.

Will joins us from the Stamford Endowed Schools in Lincolnshire, where he has served as Principal since 2016, following a successful tenure as Head of Stamford School from 2011 to 2016. He brings with him a wealth of experience of the Independent School Sector. He has held various leadership positions at a number of schools, Trustee roles within HMC (The Head’s Conference) and is currently Education Chair of a Preparatory School in Lincolnshire.

Will’s personal philosophies as an educator significantly echo Clifton High School’s aims and values and were therefore standout qualities in his successful appointment. As a History teacher and keen sports coach, he sees all aspects of School life and the curriculum as integral to a full and rounded education for every child. He also has an astute knowledge and experience of leading a school as a business, something that is likely to be increasingly important over the next few years. Born and educated in Bristol, returning to his home city not only fulfils a personal ambition but his familiarity with the area and its unique characteristics will undoubtably benefit Clifton High School.

"I am absolutely delighted to become the thirteenth Head of such a wonderful and progressive school. The ethos and values of Clifton High School form a natural synergy with my own and what I think is important in educating our children for their future. As a Bristolian I am proud to have the opportunity to lead a school held in such high regard. What really attracted me from the first moment I walked into Clifton High School was the feeling of real warmth in everyone I met and the understated confidence of the pupils who were clearly enjoying and proud of their School. I am keen to work with a clearly talented staff to develop the School even further and am looking forward to meeting everyone in the community over the summer and then into the Autumn Term. I would like to thank everyone for making me feel so welcome already.”

Mr Will Phelan

On top of the many attributes that make an excellent Head, Will’s vision and innovative ideas for our School’s future were incredibly impressive. Will is keen to ensure that every single child at Clifton High School has the opportunity to realise their individual brilliance and that they are equipped for the fast-changing world which lies ahead. We are excited for the future of our School, that under Will’s leadership Clifton High School will continue to evolve whilst remaining proudly who we are. Please join me in extending a warm welcome to Will to the Clifton High School community. With this appointment, together we start another new and exciting chapter in our School's history.

We cannot share this announcement without mentioning our Acting Head of School, Mr Luke Goodman. Luke stepped into the role last August and since then has been a calm, level-headed presence, leading with real clarity and purpose. The School is incredibly grateful for the leadership, Luke has shown over the last two terms. He will continue as Acting Head until the end of this academic year with the absolute support of the whole community. 

The year continues to fly by and with Easter almost upon us, our thoughts will soon turn to the Summer Term. Will will be in attendance at some of our summer events to informally meet pupils, families and staff.

With this appointment, the Clifton High School community begin another new and exciting chaper in the School's History.