Mr Bennjamyn Smith
Kitebrook Preparatory School is delighted to announce that the Trustees of Prep Schools Trust have appointed Mr Benn Smith to be permanent Head of Kitebrook from 1st January 2023.
Mr Smith arrived at Kitebrook as Interim Deputy Head in the summer term of this year and has been Acting Head of the school since early September. Mr Smith graduated from Canterbury Christ Church University and subsequently gained an MA in Education. Mr Smith has held a variety of senior positions in a range of schools, including Dover College, Farringtons School, Badminton School and Redcliffe Prep School in London.
Prior to joining Kitebrook, Mr Smith was Co-Head at Exupery International School in Latvia. These roles have given Mr Smith valuable experience of pupils and school operations at both senior and prep stage. Trustees have been very impressed by the impact Mr Smith has made since arriving at Kitebrook. He has been a calm presence during a challenging period for the school. He has sought to build upon the school’s existing strengths, but at the same time identified areas where the school can improve further. These areas include focused help for pupils preparing for senior school entry, attention to sport and extra curricular activities, streamlined communication with parents, professional development opportunities for Kitebrook’s staff and more outreach and partnerships with the local community. Mr Smith has also been working closely with the Trust Office on a range of strategic issues for the school, including the estate development plan.
In addition to his broad professional experience, Mr Smith is a keen sportsman and has played rugby at a high level, as well as coaching at County U18 and University 1st XV level. He has also held a Commission in the Army Reserve. Mr Smith has undertaken a significant amount of voluntary work in Ukraine. He founded a charity in 2010 which runs residential camps to help disadvantaged Ukrainian children. Trustees have wanted to satisfy themselves that the next Head of Kitebrook has the right credentials to lead Kitebrook in the next important phase of its development. The Trust has run an internal process during the second half of this term, which has been open to employees from all Trust schools. This process culminated in a final interview with a panel of senior Trustees, including Mrs Emma McKendrick, Chair of Trustees and currently Head of Downe House, Mrs Jackie Pain, a former Head, a trained ISI Inspector and Chair of Kitebrook’s Local Advisory Group and Mr Etienne Bottari, Chair of the Finance Committee. The panel was unanimous in its view that Mr Smith is the right person to lead the school and were impressed by the passion and commitment for the role which he demonstrated.
We know that Mr Smith will be focusing on bringing Kitebrook’s pupils, families and staff together for the benefit of the whole community as we move into 2023.