Welwyn Garden City headteacher thanks staff, pupils and parents for ‘wonderful time’ at school

Ridgeway Academy headteacher Jed Whelan is retiring after four years at the school. Picture: Danny L

Ridgeway Academy headteacher Jed Whelan is retiring after four years at the school. Picture: Danny Loo - Credit: Archant

A Welwyn Garden City headteacher is retiring from his role and said he is “deeply proud” of what staff and pupils achieved during his time there.

Jed Whelan has been headteacher of Ridgeway Academy in Herns Lane, formerly Sir Frederic Osborn School, for the past four years, and will retire in September this year.

In a letter to parents and guardians, Mr Whelan explained that he chose to retire so he and his wife can prioritise the needs of their elderly and increasingly dependent parents, who live on opposite ends of the country.

He said: “I joined Ridgeway Academy because I believe the local community deserves an outstanding school to serve this neighbourhood. I am confident that our school will continue its journey to deliver this.

“I will undoubtedly miss the students and all my colleagues very much and want to say a huge thank you to them for their support.”

Sarah Mitcherson has been appointed as the new headteacher following a selection process involving the school governors and trustees of the Alban Academies Trust, which includes Ridgeway Academy and Sandringham and Verulam schools in St Albans.

Mrs Mitcherson was previously deputy headteacher at St Frederic Osborn, before moving to The Stockwood Park Academy in Luton in September 2017.

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Chair of governors Anne Garland said: “Mrs Mitcherson is delighted to be entrusted with the leadership of the Academy and is immensely looking forward to taking on this vital role.”

Mr Whelan said: “I have been privileged to have been in post as headteacher of Sir Frederic Osborn School and latterly Ridgeway Academy since 2015. In that time I am deeply proud of what we have achieved together, clearly demonstrated in our new and thriving school.

“Since joining our school I have been blessed with experiencing wonderful times, sharing a common vision and working together within a vibrant community, involving inspiring staff and brilliant students.

“I must also give a huge thank you to all of the families who have been so supportive and encouraging to our school.

“Success only comes through a powerful partnership between home and school. I truly believe that Ridgeway Academy embodies that.”