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Sue Woodroofe, Principal at GSAL announces her retirement in August 2025

Tuesday 5 March 2024

After eight years of outstanding leadership at GSAL, Sue Woodroofe has announced her decision to retire. According to Sue, being the Principal of GSAL “has been the best job in the world”, and she said that running the school has been “the joy and privilege of my life.”

Sue’s career in education spans nearly four decades, six schools and both the state and independent sectors in the UK and in Europe.  Since taking up her post as Principal at GSAL in April 2016, Sue has pushed academic standards and aspirations even higher. Under Sue’s tenure she has created a strong ethos and culture that celebrates intellectual pursuit and puts the development of the whole child at its core. She has also overseen the creation of the new primary school at Alwoodley Gates, refurbished the whole school, including the renovation of the historic Lawson Library, developed outstanding facilities for sport and the performing arts and has led a significant investment in child-centred health and wellbeing as well as developments in technology. The impact of Sue’s leadership is evidenced by numerous accolades such as three Sunday Times awards including School of the Decade, three highly successful inspections and her election as Chair of the Heads’ Conference (HMC).

Angus Martin(OL77), chair of GSAL’s governing body, said, “We can all see the benefits of the developments that Sue has led; under her tenure, the school has gone from strength to strength. She said that she wanted to polish the GSAL trophy when she arrived – and she has done so.” Sue will continue to take the school forwards over the next 18 months, which will see amongst many other things the completion of the school’s new Performing Arts Centre.

The search for GSAL’s next Principal will begin immediately to ensure a smooth transition to the next stage of GSAL’s journey in September 2025 and according to Sue “They will be the luckiest person in education to get this job.”

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