John Watson announces his retirement

John Watson will be retiring as Headmaster of Leicester Grammar School and Principal of the Trust in August 2025. 

He was already a very experienced Head when he joined us, and he has succeeded in energetically leading the Trust from strength to strength during his tenure. He has built and motivated teams of leaders and staff who are dedicated to the happiness and success of our pupils in all aspects of school life. Numbers in all three schools of the Trust have grown significantly, and Mr Watson has been particularly focussed on the well-being and inclusivity of our school communities, ensuring the development of a culture where young people are supported to be and give of their best. 

Leicester Grammar School has twice been named the Sunday Times East Midlands Independent Senior School of the Year (2020 and 2024), as well as East Midlands top Independent School for Academic Performance (2024). The combination of academic inspiration and a strong framework of values and support - very much the hallmark of Mr Watson’s leadership - has proved to be a winning formula, with LGS achieving the best A-level results for a co-educational school in the whole of the Midlands in 2023, whilst also enjoying a recent very positive inspection report. 

Announcing his retirement, Mr Watson commented: “The years since I joined have flown by, and it remains a wonderful and humbling privilege to lead LGS and the Trust, and certainly a most fulfilling and happy culmination to my career. I count myself very blessed to be supported by an excellent and dedicated team of staff, as we work together to educate such inspiring and considerate young people who enrich our every day.   

I will when I retire have been a head for 19 years and will be leaving at the same time as the Year 7s who were at LGS when I began in April 2019. In the meantime, I will continue to work closely and ambitiously with colleagues and trustees to ensure that our schools are passed on to new stewardship in the best possible health in September 2025.” 

The Trustees have already embarked on the search for a new Head of Leicester Grammar School and Principal of the Trust, confident that the post will attract a very strong field of candidates. Mr Steven Gasztowicz KC, Chairman of Trustees, said: “John Watson is a truly great Headmaster and Principal. He cares for each and every one of our children and young people and is dedicated to ensuring they achieve their potential. Beyond just academic achievement, he is focused on all aspects of their development, bringing out the best in them, and ensuring they leave our schools as rounded individuals. He will not be retiring for some time yet, and in the meantime we will find a worthy successor.”