Westminster Academy appoints new Principal

The Board at Westminster Academy has appointed Dr Paul Wood to succeed Dr Saima Rana as Principal of the Academy from January 2021.

Westminster Academy is an outstanding International Business and Enterprise Academy serving a multi-ethnic community in central London. Unusually for a state school, it offers the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (DP) and Career-related Programme (CP) in the Sixth Form, and the principles underpinning the IB Learner Profile are reflected strongly in the Academy’s ethos. The Academy benefits from the support of the Dangoor Family, via the Exilarch Foundation, and is recognised nationally for its work to improve outcomes for students and its aspirational and inclusive vision.

After five exceptional years of service as Principal, Dr Saima Rana departed the Academy this Summer, and Society was retained to lead the search for her successor. Working in close partnership with the Board, we conducted a broad, national search for outstanding school leaders with the potential to elevate Westminster Academy to the next level. We were particularly interested in individuals with a flair for innovative teaching and learning and a strong connection with Westminster’s Academy’s international ethos.

The Board chose to appoint Dr Paul Wood, currently the Principal of Southbank International School Westminster Campus, a leading London-based international school and part of the Cognita group. Paul has had a fascinating career spanning several continents. The first in his family to attend university, Paul ultimately gained a PhD in Chemistry from the University of Manchester and spent the early part of his career working at Harvard Medical School and Ottawa's National Research Council. He later found his vocation in teaching and, together with his wife, a Canadian diplomat, he has since lived and worked in Japan, Tanzania, China and the UK, always in leading IB schools. Paul has a track record of driving excellence in teaching and learning and has introduced innovative project-based and student-centred approaches in the schools he has served. He joins Westminster Academy in January 2021.

On his appointment, Paul commented:

“I'm delighted to be joining Westminster Academy, a wonderful school with a truly international outlook and a genuinely meaningful mission to help students achieve success through education.”

On working with Society, he added:

"I appreciated the level of personalised attention and support I received throughout the process from Conor and the rest of the team at Society".

Related Articles