New headteacher at Sir Thomas Rich's School
THERE is a new man at the helm of one of the county's leading schools for the first time in 25 years.
But Matthew Morgan is already a familiar face at Sir Thomas Rich's School in Longlevens, having served his apprenticeship for six years as deputy headteacher.
The grammar school has always been judged "outstanding" by Oftsed inspectors, and the 37-year-old geography teacher knows exactly where it needs to be – at the top.
But there is more the school can strive for.
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"My role is really to ensure that we maintain our pretty high standards and we make sure the experience for as many pupils as possible is as good as possible," said Mr Morgan, who studied geography as his first degree, then qualified as a teacher at Cambridge University.
"One thing I have to work on is making sure people show and share their talents and aspirations," he said.
"Sometimes people hide what they are good at and we must understand everyone's potential.
"It's about helping them to do what they want to do."
The school is boys-only until the age of 16 and has 907 pupils on the roll, including a co-educational sixth form.
Mr Morgan said its relatively small size was an asset.
"We are a pretty small school and it means we can get to know pupils really well and know what areas they need to develop in," he said.
Although the school has been on its present Oakleaze since 1964, its origins date back to 1668.
It opened thanks to Sir Thomas Rich, who was born in Gloucester in 1601 and worked as a wine importer in the city of London.
A baronet, he was MP for Reading and in his will, left his home in Eastgate Street, Gloucester, and £6,000 to establish a school in Gloucester for "20 poor boys".
The school motto Garde Ta Foy means Keep the Faith in old French.
Before he arrived at the school six years ago, Mr Morgan worked at the Royal Latin School in Buckinghamshire, starting as a geography teacher and finishing as an assistant headteacher.
He attended Bedford School and studied his passion, geography, as his first degree and when he opted for teaching, studied under revolutionary geography teacher and teacher trainer Rex Walford.
Mr Walford died in a boating accident on the River Thames in 2011 and Mr Morgan wants to keep his passion for learning alive.
It's not all about living in the past though, as the school has just undergone a much-needed £1.1million makeover, and a new £2.3million sixth form centre is expected to be built by next April.
"Standards here are high but we are about making the most out of pupils' abilities and interests in and out of school," he said.