THE headteacher at one of the Capital’s best-known public schools has spoken of his hopes for its continued growth as he prepares to step down after 15 years.
Alistair Hector, 57, headmaster at George Heriot’s School, said he expected the world-famous institution to go “from strength to strength”.
He said: “There will have been appropriate development of learning and teaching, the next steps in our long-term campus development plan, and the consolidation of Heriot’s as a strong and vibrant independent school with something unique to offer, whatever sort of Scotland we live in.”
Born on October 5, 1955, in Edinburgh, Mr Hector spent the early years of his life in Basutoland – now Lesotho – in southern Africa, where his father was deputy high commissioner.
He attended Edinburgh Academy before going on to take a degree in German at St Andrews University.
His early career saw him take English language teaching work in Erlangen, Germany, where he had spent time as an undergraduate.
With a love of teaching firmly established, he went on to win positions at King Edward’s School, Bath, and Warwick School, as well as Merchiston Castle School, where he was head of German.
He joined Heriot’s as headmaster in January 1998 and oversaw many milestones in its development and expansion.
These include replacing the financial assistance provided by the Government’s assisted places scheme with Heriot’s own bursaries, passing the OSCR charity test in 2009, the purchase of the Grassmarket campus from Edinburgh College of Art in 2005, and completion in 2012 of a new centre for sport and exercise.
He said: “Of course, I am proud of all of these, but the things that make me proudest of all are the achievements of our pupils, not just on the academic front, where Heriot’s pupils have excelled in recent years, but also in the huge range of extra-curricular activities which make up the rich life of this school, and the character they show as young people.
“Decent, kind, generous, creative, hard-working, confident, without being arrogant, fun-loving, committed to their school and the wider community – they are all of these things and it has been a huge pleasure to have worked with them, their teachers and parents over the last 15-plus years.”
A keen sportsman and father-of-three, Mr Hector, who will leave Heriot’s in eight months, said he would miss many things about the school but predicted it had a bright future.
“Above all, I see it as full of pupils who show all the signs of being happy, fully involved, developing their potential and achieving the best they are capable of in every dimension of their lives at school.”