New headmaster for the Oratory

Henley Standard, 30.08.15, the new headmaster of leading independent the Oratory School in Woodcote says he can’t wait to start. New HMC Head Adrian Wyles features.

Adrian Wyles and his wife Dee will be moving to the independent Catholic boys’ school before the new term starts on September 6.

He said getting the job had been a long-held ambition as he had visited for sporting fixtures in his previous role as deputy academic head at Sutton Valence School in Kent and decided he wanted to work at the Oratory.

Mr Wyles, 47, grew up in Kent and attended a boys’ grammar school in Ashford.

He studied geography at Royal Holloway University then trained as a teacher at Durham University.

He began his career in 1990, teaching geography at two comprehensives in London and Kent before becoming head of geography at Hurstpierpoint College in West Sussex. After seven years there, he moved to Sutton Valence seven years ago.

He is replacing Clive Dytor, a former Royal Marine and decorated Falklands veteran who had been head at the Oratory since 2000. The vacancy was advertised last summer and Mr Wyles visited several times for interviews before being confirmed in position in November.

He said: “For me it was a very simple decision. I was at the stage where I was starting to think about headship and my mentors and close colleagues were encouraging me to take that step.

“I didn’t want to take on any old position and actually had my eye on the Oratory as I knew it well and thought it was wonderful. When the opportunity came up it was a no-brainer.

"I’m really very excited about starting the new term. I was at the point of wanting to move a few weeks ago and now I just want to get on with it.” Mr Wyles said he was particularly drawn to the school’s boys-only aspect.

He said: “Having been educated in a single-sex environment and worked in co-educational schools, I think you can do things differently for boys in a way that is better for them.

“Having games every day is very important — many want to do that and there are ways of building that into the timetable. Of course, not every boy is like that but there’s also scope to break down stereotypes and encourage them to get involved in activities like the choir or whatever interests they want to push forward with.

“They can take part in all sorts of things without putting on affectations or worrying about how they might be seen. We don’t see them all as rugby players but offer lots of niches to develop in.

“We also organise social occasions with girls’ schools to make sure they still have those opportunities.”

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