New Deputy Head Joins Team at Blackheath High School concentrating on wellbeing


BLACKHEATH High School has appointed a new deputy head teacher with experience in pastoral care as it continues to focus on student mental health and wellbeing.

Chris Alaru joins Blackheath High School, an independent girl’s school in Greenwich this month as Deputy Head (Staff and Students).

He will be responsible for leading the pastoral team at Blackheath with his priority being to promote positive mental health and well-being for the students, staff and wider community of Blackheath High.

Blackheath High School is a member of the Girl’s Day School Trust (GDST) a family of independent schools and academies across England and Wales.

Mr Alaru joins Blackheath High from South Hampstead High School, another member of the GDST based in North West London.

Mr Alaru became Assistant Head Teacher of South Hampstead after initially joining the school in 2017 as drama teacher and Head of Year Eight. In this role he had overall pastoral responsibility for Years 9 – 11, where his achievements included introducing a ‘whole school Buddy’ scheme for students as well as a 'whole school Busy’ scheme.

In his new role at Blackheath, Mr Alaru will look to implement similar pastoral strategies prioritising the social and emotional wellbeing of students. His appointment is part of the school’s ongoing focus on student mental health and wellbeing.

Prior to South Hampstead, Mr Alaru began his teaching career in Australia. He moved to London in 2004 where he worked in the state sector for a decade. Throughout his career, Mr Alaru has maintained a strong pastoral focus, while specialising in Drama and Theatre Studies.

Mr Alaru said: “I’m delighted to have joined Blackheath High School and am particularly excited to be taking over as leader of the pastoral team.

“I have long admired Blackheath for its commitment to teaching life skills and emotional intelligence to students alongside their traditional education. Yet since joining the school it has been the extraordinary sense of community that has really struck me. Each student is encouraged to celebrate their creativity and individuality and I can’t wait to play my part.”

Carol Chandler-Thompson, Head of Blackheath High School said: “We couldn’t be happier to welcome Chris to the Blackheath community. Chris is committed to putting students’ emotional and social wellbeing first and is already bringing an amazing level of energy to the pastoral team.

“At Blackheath we are always looking to prepare our students for life beyond our walls through comprehensive co-curricular activities. Chris is going to be instrumental in delivering these going forwards.”


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