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Rear Admiral Philip Wilcocks, Chair of Governors at Hereford Cathedral School, announced this week that following a thorough selection process, Dr Michael Gray of Harrow School will succeed Paul Smith as Headmaster of the School.

Dr Gray, who is currently Director of Studies at Harrow School, graduated from King’s College London with a First in History, after which he completed a PGCE, followed by a Masters and PhD at the UCL Institute of Education. Michael taught at Halliford School in Shepperton and St Edward’s School, Oxford, before joining Harrow in 2013 as Head of Politics. He subsequently became Academic and Universities Director before taking up his appointment as Director of Studies in 2019 with overall responsibility for all academic matters at Harrow.

Commenting on his appointment, Dr Gray said “I am both delighted and honoured to be appointed the next Headmaster of Hereford Cathedral School and to build on the fantastic work that Paul Smith has done. It is an extremely exciting time to join HCS and there is an impressive momentum across the School as we look to realise Vision 2030 and ensure that all pupils are equipped to thrive in a changing world.

“My wife and I are relishing the prospect of moving to the beautiful county of Herefordshire and to join this wonderful community in one of the UK’s leading independent co-educational schools.”

Alongside his teaching career, Dr Gray has published two books and several articles on Holocaust education. He is also a Fellow of the Chartered College of Teaching and Chair of Governors at Elmgrove School, one of the largest state primary schools in London. He is Secretary at his local church where he and his wife Angharad worship.

Dr Gray will take over when Paul Smith steps down from his role in September 2021 after 16 years at the helm. Mr Smith gave a ringing endorsement of his successor’s appointment: “I am delighted that the Governors have appointed Michael, who is clearly very able and experienced and who seemed to me to be an excellent match for what Hereford Cathedral School needs for the next stage of its development. I have enjoyed meeting Michael and look forward to welcoming him to Hereford in the coming weeks.”

Dr Gray was selected from an extremely strong field of over 50 applicants. Chair of Governors, Rear Admiral Philip Wilcocks, who led the interview panel said “We were extremely impressed with Michael’s vision for Hereford Cathedral School and his undoubted commitment to developing yet further the quality of teaching and learning across the whole school.

“The Governors wish to also pay tribute to Mr Smith as he continues to provide outstanding leadership to the School, especially in these challenging times. Michael is clearly excited and energised by our future plans and the panel were unanimous in their view that he is the right person to be a worthy successor of Paul.”

The School looks forward to welcoming Dr Gray and his wife Angharad to the community in a few months’ time.