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New Principal for King’s School, Rochester
11th July 2018

Mr Ben Charles has been appointed as the new Principal of King’s and Headmaster of the Senior School following Mr Jeremy Walker’s move to be Head Master of St Peter’s School, York.  The position attracted an extremely strong field of applicants reflecting the strength of the school and regard in which it is held nationally.

Mr Charles is currently the Second Master (Senior Deputy Head) of The Portsmouth Grammar School (PGS), a large independent all-through school from 2½ to 18 with very close ties to Portsmouth Cathedral.  He completed his degree at the University of Exeter before gaining his Post Graduate Certificate of Education from Durham University. He began his teaching career at another King’s School, this time in Peterborough, where he was Assistant Director of Music and a Lay Clerk in the Cathedral. He went on to become Director of Music at two HMC schools – the first at Chigwell School in Essex and later at Millfield School in Somerset. In 2009 he was appointed Deputy Head (Co-Curriculum and Communications) at PGS and was promoted to the Second Master role in January 2016. He is currently a Governor at Amesbury School and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. Ben is married to Helen, also a teacher and Deputy Head of Sixth Form at PGS, and between them they have three young children with another on the way. Ben is an experienced choral conductor and singer, but is also a huge sports fan, particularly offering support to teams from his native city of Leicester.

Jeremy Walker leaves King’s in December at the end of the Michaelmas Term and Mr Charles will commence as Principal in April 2019 at the start of the Midsummer Term due to his contractual notice period.  Mr Roger Overend, who retired as Headmaster of King’s Preparatory School in July 2018, has been appointed Acting Principal for the Lent Term.

Miss Jacqueline Shicluna, Chair of Governors said, “Governors were highly impressed with Mr Charles’ experience, his affinity for King’s and vision for the future building on strong foundations.  We all look forward to welcoming him and his family to Rochester and are confident that King’s will continue to thrive and develop under his leadership.  In the meantime, I am delighted that Mr Roger Overend will be Acting Principal for the Lent Term.  His long experience and knowledge of King’s will ensure stability and successful transition to Mr Charles.”

Of his appointment Ben said, “I am thrilled and honoured to have been appointed as Principal of King’s School, Rochester and to be joining such a welcoming and happy community. I look forward to building on the outstanding leadership of Jeremy Walker.

King’s is renowned for its exceptional pastoral care, the breadth of opportunities it provides across the full age range and its commitment to a Christian ethos, all in an incredible and unique setting. I am excited to lead a school with such a rich heritage, but which also has significant aspirations for the future. My family and I very much look forward to joining the King’s community and to meeting pupils, parents, staff and alumni in the months and years ahead.”

Jeremy Walker said, “I am delighted with Ben’s appointment and couldn’t be happier with the Governors’ decision.  Much as I am excited to be moving to St Peter’s, leaving King’s has been a difficult decision to make and I know that Ben will be an outstanding Principal and that he and his family will be welcomed as warmly as mine.”