Meet secondary school's first co-headteachers

Tom Grey and Beverly Tucker have been appointed Co-Headteachers of King Edward VI school in Bury PI

Tom Grey and Beverley Tucker have been appointed Co-Headteachers of King Edward VI school in Bury. - Credit: Charlotte Bond

The new leaders at a secondary school have said sharing the top role can help alleviate the loneliness and pressure of headship.

Tom Grey and Beverley Tucker were deputy heads at King Edward VI School in Bury St Edmunds before becoming its first co-headteachers following the departure of Lee Walker.

King Edward VI School is one of the oldest in the UK having been established in 1550.

It was originally a school for boys, before becoming a co-educational school in 1972 by the merging of King Edward Grammar School with the Silver Jubilee Girls School and the Silver Jubilee Boys School.

Tom Grey and Beverly Tucker have been appointed Co-Headteachers of King Edward VI school in Bury PI

King Edward VI School in Grove Road, Bury St Edmunds. - Credit: Charlotte Bond

Ms Tucker is the first female lead in almost 500 years, and it is the first time there have been two headteachers - since the headmaster and headmistress of the Silver Jubilee Schools, which were on the current King Edward's site in Grove Road.

Ms Tucker said people's experiences of headship are that it can be "quite a lonely place".


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She said: "From what I have looked at around the country there are benefits of it [sharing the role] for headteacher wellbeing. It can be lonely and stressful."

She added: "It takes the pressure off one person being the decision maker all the time."

Tom Grey and Beverly Tucker have been appointed Co-Headteachers of King Edward VI school in Bury PI

Tom Grey and Beverley Tucker are the interim co-headteachers of King Edward VI school in Bury. - Credit: Charlotte Bond

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Ms Tucker believes there are about 75 co-headteachers around the country, mainly at primary schools.

Mr Grey said: "We have our defined roles in whatever we do and one thing we have learned is the way in which we communicate with each other is really important to making it work."

Mr Grey and Ms Tucker said they have been focusing on the return to a "relative normal" for students - such as re-establishing where to take lunch and making sure they are wearing the correct uniform - and giving them the very best learning opportunities.

Tom Grey and Beverly Tucker have been appointed Co-Headteachers of King Edward VI school in Bury PI

Tom Grey said communication is key as they work together as school leaders. - Credit: Charlotte Bond

Mr Grey added: "We both feel excited for the opportunity it brings, not just for us, the school as well. There's been a really positive atmosphere within the school since September."

Mr Grey and Ms Tucker, who share an office, are interim co-headteachers.

Chair of governors, Rachel Cannon, said: "Beverley and Tom combine the skills, experience and knowledge of the school necessary to take King Edward VI forward whilst we consider leadership for the school in the long-term."

Mr Walker left King Edward's after being head for four years, saying it was time to pursue new career challenges after leading the school through a period of significant transition.

The school is celebrating its 50th anniversary as a comprehensive school.

  • The school has asked parents and former students with information or photos in relation to the King Edward Grammar School or the Silver Jubilee School to get in contact. Email here. 


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