Wallace Crowned in Wycombe as Hobby heads to Beech Hall School Riyadh

Chatsworth Schools is delighted to announce that Mr Rob Wallace has been appointed as Head of Crown House from September 2024.

Rob Wallace and Crown House

Rob is currently a much-loved educator and Head of Pastoral Care at Crown House, Head of Creativity, Chatsworth Schools and a graduate of the Chatsworth Schools Leadership Development Programme.

Having graduated from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, Rob enjoyed a successful career as a professional trumpeter, performing with orchestras and ensembles across the world. Discovering a passion for education through delivering music workshops in schools throughout the UK, Rob swapped the concert hall for the classroom. 

He becomes the fifth Chatsworth Schools Head to have graduated from our Leadership Development Programme following Sarah Hobby, Sarah Wallace, Guy Baker and Charles Stafford Northcote.

On his appointment, Founder and CEO – Anita Gleave said “Rob is a hugely talented educator with an infectious personality. I’m delighted to appoint our FIFTH Chatsworth Schools Leadership Development Programme graduate and know that Crown House has a fantastic future under his leadership.”

On his appointment, Rob said “I am truly honoured and exhilarated to be taking on the role of Headteacher at Crown House. The school has such an exceptionally positive atmosphere and I am deeply committed to continuing our growth and development, building upon the strong foundations laid by Sarah, a truly inspiring and discerning leader for whom I have such respect and gratitude.

I am hugely grateful for the support and opportunities that Anita and Chatsworth Schools have given me and look forward to working with the central team closely in my new role for the benefit of Crown House and most importantly, our children.”

In addition to Rob’s appointment, James Thompson, Chatsworth Schools’ Director of Schools Management will serve as Executive Principal of Crown House for the 2024/25 school year. Prior to joining Chatsworth Schools, James was Head of Royal Russell Junior School in Croydon for ten years and Head of St Hugh’s Prep School in Oxfordshire. In total, James has over 30 years of independent school experience and will be an invaluable support to Rob and the school community as Crown House continues to grow. 

Sarah Hobby current Head of Crown House is leaving at the end of the Summer Term but staying within the Chatsworth Schools family and embarking on an exciting new adventure with her husband, James in Saudi Arabia. 

Sarah Hobby and Beech Hall School Riyadh

Sarah has been appointed as Head of Primary, Beech Hall School Riyadh from August 2024. Beech Hall School Riyadh is operated by Blenheim Schools, the international school division of Chatsworth Schools.

On her appointment, Sarah said “Joining Clemmie Stewart and the team at Beech Hall School Riyadh fills me with immense excitement and anticipation. Over the past two years I’ve watched the growth of the school and I couldn’t be more thrilled to be able to play a role in its continued journey forward.”

The announcement of the change of Heads at Crown House enables Blenheim Schools’ Beech Hall School Riyadh to share their expert and expanded Senior Leadership Team (SLT) from August. 

Executive Principal, Clemmie Stewart is delighted to welcome three new members of staff to her SLT:

Mr Chris Parfitt will be joining us as Head of Seniors. Mr Chris is a vastly experienced educator of nearly 20 years and has held middle and senior leadership roles in the UK and internationally, in the Middle East, China and Central Asia. Mr Chris is currently Head of Secondary at the International School of Tashkent.

Mrs Sarah Hobby, currently Head at Crown House Preparatory School, High Wycombe, UK has been appointed as Head of Primary from August 2024. Sarah is an excellent primary school leader passionate about high-quality, research-led learning and skills development.

Dr Reham Elshamy has been promoted to the role of Deputy Head (Academic). Dr Reham is a dedicated and passionate educator and a visionary leader with a wealth of expertise in teaching and leading different curricula.

As is common in international education, as we look to August and the new school year, we do have to say thank you and farewell to some people who have become dear to all of us.

This summer will see us wish one particular staff member the fondest of farewells.

After nearly 2 years at Beech Hall School Riyadh, Julia Knight is moving on to a very new and exciting project, much closer to her home in Bahrain. This will enable her to be with her family, whom she misses very much. Julia has been a force for good, having led Primary and Secondary Girls, whilst also taking a leading role in Admissions and Marketing.

We wish Ms Julia every success and happiness. She will always hold a special place at Beech Hall School Riyadh.

You can meet the whole of the new Beech Hall School Riyadh SLT here.

These exciting changes demonstrate Chatsworth Schools’ and Blenheim Schools’ commitment to both developing our own people and providing them with leadership opportunities and recruiting expert talent externally to support our ambitious growth plans and most importantly, our children.

You can find out more about Crown House School here and Beech Hall School Riyadh here.

For more information contact Andrew Elias – marketing@chatsworthschools.com

Latest News


Find out more about our growing schools family.


Find out more about our nurseries.


Find out more about our International Schools division