Ellesmere College announces appointment of new Headmaster

Posted on 9th Jul 2024 in School News, Appointments

Ellesmere College is delighted to announce the appointment of Jonathan Shaw as the new Headmaster. Mr Shaw, currently Head of the Senior School of 600 pupils at King’s Ely in Cambridgeshire, will take up the role from September 2025.

The father of two, Amelia and William aged 18 and 20, will move to Shropshire alongside his wife Katherine to begin the new role.

He said: “It is an honour to have been appointed to lead Ellesmere College from September 2025. During my recent visits to Ellesmere, I was particularly impressed by the school’s care for the individual, the importance of the community and the sense of ambition for the future. It will be a huge privilege to build upon the legacy of Brendan Wignall who led the school with such humility, kindness and wisdom. My wife, Katherine, and I are looking forward to moving to Ellesmere with our family next summer and being part of a very special community.”

Mr Shaw is a graduate of the University of Nottingham, a historian and has an MA in Leadership. His current school is a co-educational boarding school of 1000 pupils in total and Mr Shaw heads around 600 of them in the senior department. He has previously worked as a housemaster at Ardingly College Prep School - another school in the Woodard Trust alongside Ellesmere College, he has been Vice-Principal of Pastoral at Elizabeth College in Guernsey and Head of Boarding at St Andrew’s, Turi in Kenya, where he was also Chair of Marketing.

Before that, he was Head of History at Gordon’s School in Surrey and a history teacher at Royal Grammar School (RGS) Worcester. In addition he has worked as an inspector for the Independent Schools Inspectorate (ISI) since 2013 and is a keen runner, occasional cyclist and social golfer. He also loves getting out into the mountains or onto the water.

Charles Lillis, Chair of Governors at Ellesmere College, said: ‘’During a rigorous selection process involving Governors, staff and pupils, Mr Shaw shone out as an exceptional candidate, and was the clear and unanimous choice of the selection panel.

“Our new Headmaster ably demonstrated that he understands the holistic ethos and values of Ellesmere College and he will undoubtedly bring vision, energy, dynamism and a wealth of experience to the role. “With such a strong appointment I and my fellow Governors continue to be extremely optimistic about the future of Ellesmere College.’’

The appointment comes after the Headmaster for the past 27 years Brendan Wignall sadly died in January having lost his battle with cancer. Vicky Pritt-Roberts will continue the role of Acting Head of Ellesmere College until Mr Shaw takes up his post. 

For more information about Ellesmere College visit www.ellesmere.com.