WESTVILLE House School in Ilkley has welcomed new team members as they celebrate an excellent inspection report.

The new head is Mrs Susan Walker, whose background includes small prep and larger schools, as well as running a group of private day nurseries.

She initially joined as acting head just as a school inspection was due which she describes as "a baptism of fire".

"Building on the existing good work and quickly implementing priority improvements we were all very much delighted when the Independent Schools Inspectorate gave us a glowing report that reflected the life of the school," she said. "Our school meets all standards, and the report highlights this in all five areas! I couldn’t ask for a more dedicated and talented team.”

One of Mrs Walker’s very first priorities was recruitment and new appointments are Form 3 (Year 5) teacher Mrs Louisa Cavell; mathematics teacher for the upper prep Mr Johnathan Southern and Mrs Locke to provide specialist drama teaching across all age groups.

Ilkley Gazette: Mrs Locke, Mrs Cavell and Mr SouthernMrs Locke, Mrs Cavell and Mr Southern (Image: submitted)

Adam Holdsworth, who has been Chair of Governors for the last six years has also handed over the reins to Dan Rathbone.

Mr Holdsworth said: "It has been my absolute pleasure to assist the school for the last few years. My own children attended Westville and it has been wonderful to support and celebrate the school’s excellent track record. It is now however, the right time to hand over the reins to a new chair and we knew Dan Rathbone was the right fit. I feel Mrs Walker and Mr Rathbone will bring fresh perspective and innovative ideas whilst recognising the unique family ethos of the school. I wish the whole team the very best.”

Mr Rathbone, who has over 20 years’ experience in the tech industry as a senior leader, company founder and software engineer, said: “Having been part of the Board of Governors as IT lead for a few years now, I have an in-depth understanding of the school and the many opportunities that lay ahead. I am optimistic that this flurry of change will take Westville House to the next phase of development. In a few short months we have seen continued growth in numbers and the introduction of a range of improvements, all to ensure the very best experience for every child to meet their full potential. I am proud to say my children attend the school, I am committed to the continued success of Westville - the future is bright!”

Mrs Walker added: “We are inviting prospective parents across all year groups to tour the school and nursery, meet the pupils and the team at a time which is convenient to them. I very much look forward to the future and ensuring educational excellence and care, which very much underpins The Westville Way.”

Westville House School offers co-educational excellence for 2-11 year old children and is located on Carter’s Lane, Middleton, email hub@westvillehouseschool.com or phone 01943 60 80 53.