Headteacher January 1958 – July 1967
The first Headmaster of Wootton Bassett County Secondary School, Frank King, was born in Northampton in 1907. At the age of sixteen, he became a pupil teacher and he read for his degree at Reading and in London Universities. In 1936 he was awarded an honours degree in English.
During the Second World War he became a pilot officer in the RAF and he always had a wealth of stories to tell to recently appointed members of staff.
His teaching career included being a Senior English Master at Trowbridge Grammar School for Boys from 1937-39 and from 1946-49. From Trowbridge he moved to Nailsea and Scunthorpe before teaching English at the Weston-super-Mare Grammar School for Boys from 1954-1958. In January 1958 he became headmaster of the new Wootton Bassett County Secondary School which he led with great distinction for almost ten years, and always encouraged pupils to aim for high standards in the personal life, academic work and sport. He retired in 1967 at the age of 60.
DONALD C SHEPHERD BA(HONS)
Headteacher 1968 – July 1986
After qualifying as a teacher, Donald Shepherd served in the Intelligence Corps in the Far East before working as a resident assistant master at Chetham’s School, Manchester. Experience in boarding schools in Essex and Kent was followed by appointment as Deputy Headmaster of Church Central School, Bury. In 1959, he became Headmaster of Crompton House School, Shaw, Lancashire, and in 1964 he re-organised the Kingsdown Comprehensive School.
As Headmaster at Wootton Bassett from 1969, he was responsible for the re-organisation of the school into the Wootton Bassett Comprehensive School in 1972.
As a Headmaster he had a very individual, forceful style and motivated both staff and pupils to work hard. He also made valued contributions to the local entertainment scene, in the spectacular annual pantomimes which he wrote and directed. After 18 years of devoted service he retired in 1986 to Grange-Over-Sands in Cumbria.
HYLTON THOMAS OBE MED FCP MBIM
Headteacher September 1986 – July 2001
Born in South Wales, Hylton Thomas attended schools in Bristol and Merthyr Tydfil before studying Metallurgy at Cardiff University. He worked in the Steel Industry before switching to teaching in the mid-sixties. Mr Thomas Taught at schools in Somerset and Avon, then joined the Service Children’s Education Authority as Deputy Head of Kings School, Gutersloh in West Germany. He became Head of Gloucester School, Hohne in 1982, returning to the UK to take up the Headship of Wootton Bassett in 1986.
CHRIS MONTACUTE BSC(HONS) MBA FRSA
Executive Headteacher September 2001 – December 2009
Chris Montacute joined Wootton Bassett School at a point of momentous change when the school was moving lock, stock and barrel from its rather tired old premises into a new 21st century building. He was previously headteacher at Bradon Forest School (1997-2001) and deputy headteacher at Cirencester Deer Park School (1992-97). Under his headship, Wootton Bassett School has gained Specialist Status in Technology, introduced the International Baccalaureate as an alternative to A-levels and raised £3m for a new sixth form centre. He was awarded the RAF Award for Headteacher of the Year in a Secondary School at the Teaching Awards in 2005.
GEORGE CROXFORD BA(HONS)
Headteacher January 2010 – April 2020
CEO Royal Wootton Bassett Academy Trust
Originally from Ashford in Kent, George Croxford has been a PE teacher for over 25 years and has spent the last eighteen years in Senior Leadership. He moved to the South West in 1993 and his experience has always been “in very challenging schools”. His previous role was Headteacher at the Bridge Learning Campus Bristol (Hartcliffe) where results improved from 9% 5 A*-C including English and Maths and 17 % 5 A*-C to 38 % and 63% after 4 years. In the OfSTED inspection of November 2010, he successfully led Wootton Bassett School to become Outstanding in all 27 categories; the only 11-18 school to achieve this under that framework. During this time, Wootton Bassett School converted to an Academy, and he ensured that Royal Wootton Bassett Academy retained its Outstanding designation when reinspected in November 2013. RWBA was rated as one of the best in the whole of the south west region during his headship in The Sunday Times. He was shortlisted for the best secondary school headteacher in 2019 by the Pearson National Teaching Awards. Royal Wootton Bassett Academy Trust was established in May 2017, with George as its CEO. He left the position of Headteacher to take on the role of CEO at the Trust full time.
ANITA ELLIS BA(HONS)
Headteacher April 2020 - Present
Anita Ellis joined the school in 2001 as as a newly qualified teacher of history and sociology, and has held many positions of leadership during her time at the school, as Head of Phase, then Assistant Headteacher, Deputy Headteacher for eight years before becoming the Academy's first female Headteacher, of which she is very proud.