Cranleigh Abu Dhabi's founding headmaster Brendan Law is set to leave the UK curriculum school at the end second term. Law will join GEMS Education as vice president of education with responsibility for its portfolio of British schools, working with Sir Christopher Stone, chief education officer for GEMS MENASA.
Michael Wilson, who is currently headmaster of Cranleigh Prep School in the UK will take over from Brendan Law in September 2018. Cranleigh Abu Dhabi's second master Matt Ford will be acting headmaster during the third term this academic year.
Law previously worked with Abu Dhabi Tourism Development and Investment Company (TDIC) - Cranleigh's local partner - as director of education where he helped set up the Abu Dhabi campus of the UK school, before taking up the leadership role at Cranleigh Abu Dhabi.
A statement from TDIC chairman Mohammed Al Mubarak, and Cranleigh Abu Dhabi chairman of the board of directors Adrian Lajtha said: "Brendan's vision, creative energy and unwavering determination are behind a great deal of the school's incredible success and he will be sorely missed. It takes a very particular skills set to launch and lead a new school and Brendan was perfectly suited to the role. He has been an outstanding leader and his legacy is one to be proud of. We wish him all the very best as he continues on to his next career position."
Speaking to Education Journal Middle East about his impending move, Law said: "I'm very excited about the prospect of working across a wide range of schools in Dubai and the region. For me the excitement of the wonderful job to come is tinged with mixed emotions especially today as the news is broken in the community. I've had the privilege of handpicking the senior leadership team and overseeing the admissions of what is now 1150 wonderful children and an incredibly supportive parent body. Whilst accolades and achievements are great, it's the human capital and the incredible people we've got in this community that I will miss very much.
"I'm incredibly privileged to be overseeing and supporting the development of British premier schools across the region for GEMS. I'll be actively involved in a wide range of schools and it's an incredibly exciting role. I love the fact that I have an opportunity to help grow and develop children, and for me it's all about the children. Cranleigh is a wonderful community of 1150 at the moment and growing. The GEMS role will see me overseeing 14,000-plus children supporting the heads in the school and working alongside one of education's greats alongside Sir Christopher Stone."
New headmaster Michael Wilson was actively involved in setting up Cranleigh Abu Dhabi, and he has been board member of the school since 2014. While he will only take on his new role next academic year, he will be spending time in Abu Dhabi on a regular basis, visiting the school every term to work with Law on the handover.
Law said: "For me it's now all about succession planning and making sure we have a smooth handover. I've got a brilliant team. I think they're really world class and they're the key reason why the school is so successful. And I've no doubt that with Mike coming that the transition will be smooth and easy and we'll be working very hard together on that handover.
"We have an excellent staff retention rate and they know Mike very well, especially the senior leaders. It's really business as usual in many ways as far as I'm concerned, and I'll be making the best of the next two terms as we continue to grow and develop the school and hopefully maintain the very steep upward trend the school is on."
Leadership changes ahead at Cranleigh Abu Dhabi
Published: 20 September 2017 - 12:20 p.m.
By: Parinaaz Navdar