A NEW principal is due to start at the independent Wharfedale Montessori School later this year following the retirement of the school's founding principal.

Jeremy Clarke, who is due to start in September, at the beginning of the new academic year, will replace Jane Lord, who together with her husband, Graham Lord, also a Montessori teacher, is stepping down after 34 years.

Mr Clarke will be just the second principal at the school, which is based on the Bolton Abbey estate.

Inspired by a passionate belief in the benefits of a Montessori education Mrs Lord founded the school in 1990 to give children hands-on and practical instruction in a high-quality environment.

Consistently delivering the very highest standard of Montessori education for both the early years and the primary age groups, the school is considered a beacon of Montessori education.

Mr Clarke said he is ‘both humbled and honoured to lead this amazing school and its wonderful students’.

He began his career in education 25 years ago, leading the early years department at Gorton Mount Primary School in Manchester when it become the first state school in the UK to adopt the Montessori approach. He has worked as a Montessori teacher trainer at Montessori Centre International, where he tutored some of the members of staff who are now working at Wharfedale Montessori.

As the school's principal, Mr Clarke will be working alongside both the board and the teaching staff as he looks to grow the only Montessori primary in the North of England and develop its offering to the local community.

He said “I would like to say how honoured I am to accept the role of principal at Wharfedale Montessori School. There is such a rich history to the school, and so much potential – I am excited to continue the amazing Montessori provision that gives our children so much freedom and happiness in their education. “ Mrs Lord said she was delighted with the appointment of Jeremy Clarke as principal.

“I have every confidence that the strong Montessori principles we embedded in the teaching and learning at the school will continue under his stewardship, " she said.

Mr Clarke is due take up the post on September 2.

The school's most recent Ofsted inspection resulted in the school receiving an overall 'good' rating in early 2022. The school, which had 39 children on the roll at the time,  was marked 'outstanding' in areas of the quality of education and early years provision.

For more information about the school, email: secretary@wharfedalemontessori.co.uk.