Senior Management Team
Dr Simon Hyde, Headmaster
Dr Hyde was born in Macclesfield and is passionate about King’s playing its full role in the local community for the benefit of the town and its people. After reading Modern History at Christ Church, Oxford, Dr Hyde completed his doctorate at Oxford and the University of Bonn. He is an ISI Inspector and has judged national and international debating competitions at school and university level.Dr Hyde is a former pupil of The King’s School and his career has taken him to some of England’s finest schools. He was previously Deputy Headmaster of the Haberdashers’ Aske’s Boys’ School in Elstree, Hertfordshire. He was at the school for 7 years and had particular responsibility for school development and strategic planning. His previous appointments were as Senior Teacher and Head of Humanities at Oakham School, following 3 years at Loughborough Grammar.
Mr Richard Griffiths, Deputy Head (Academic)
Richard has a First Class Honours degree in English from Pembroke College, Cambridge and a PGCE in English with Drama from the University of Manchester. He is a Principal Examiner for an Exam Board (for English Literature) and is also a Parent Governor at his children’s primary school.
Richard was previously Head of English at Bolton School (Boys’ Division). He has run the Debating Society, a martial arts club and coached a football team, as well as directing many major school productions.
Mr Toby Seth, Deputy Head (Development)
Toby graduated in Modern & Medieval Languages (Spanish and French) from Trinity College, Cambridge and after four years working in advertising, took a PGCE in French and Spanish at King’s College, London. He has also completed an MA in Leadership in Education (Leading and Managing Change for Improvement).
Prior to King’s, Toby was the Assistant Head (School Organisation and ICT Development) at the Godolphin and Latymer School in London, where he was also Head of Modern Foreign Languages. He has worked previously at Wellington College and Dulwich College. He has coached rugby, tennis and football and is a proud Arsenal fan. He has two children, both of whom are in King’s Infant & Junior Division.
Mr Paul Cooper, Deputy Head & Principal of the Boys’ Division
Paul graduated from The University of Liverpool in Astrophysics in 2001 and completed a Masters degree in Advanced Educational Practice in 2014. He joined King's in 2017, bringing a wealth of pastoral expertise after 10 years at Merchant Taylors' Boys' School as Head of Student Progress and Head of Physics. Before that he worked in the state sector in Merseyside. He has been recognised with an award in 2017 by the Institute of Physics for his contribution to Physics education in the UK.
Paul has enjoyed many years of coaching rugby teams and is an avid musician, playing bass guitar and singing in bands. He has two children, both of whom are in King’s Infant & Junior Division.
Mr Jonathan Spencer Pickup, Director of Finance
Jonathan joined King’s as Director of Finance in 2004. He led the project to build the new Sixth Form Centre in 2007. He was previously Finance Director of John Kennedy (Holdings) Ltd, a national construction company. Before that he worked in corporate finance both in the North West and London. He qualified as a chartered accountant with Price Waterhouse. Jonathan studied Engineering at Imperial College, London. Jonathan is also a former pupil of the King’s School and all three of his sons have attended King’s.
Mrs Caroline Johnson, Director of External Relations
Caroline graduated in Geography from the University of Birmingham and then worked for the United Nations as part of a children’s education project to celebrate the UN’s 50th anniversary. Following this, she worked for MERLIN, the international aid agency in London, before heading back to the North West to join a marketing & PR agency, managing a range of client accounts.
Caroline has a Postgraduate Diploma in Marketing. Prior to joining King’s, Caroline was Senior Communications Manager at University Hospital of South Manchester NHS Foundation Trust where her role covered the full range of internal and external communications and marketing. Caroline has three children, all of whom are at King’s.
Mrs Rachel Cookson, Principal of the Infant & Junior
Rachel graduated with a BA Hons degree in Modern Foreign Languages with Economics & Law from the University of South Bank, London. After which, she gained a PGCE in Primary Teaching from the University of Bristol. Having worked in state education initially, Rachel joined The King’s School in 1997 when the Infant Division first opened. Here she enjoyed 13 years before progressing her career in a range of independent schools.
Rachel was appointed Headmistress of The Queen’s Lower School, Chester, in 2014, before returning to King’s in 2018 as Principal of the Infant & Junior Division. Rachel is a passionate swimmer, having competed in her youth at national and county levels. She has a strong interest in the arts, working closely as an educational consultant on various local projects in the North West. She is an advocate of early years and primary education, encouraging those around her, whatever their age, to aim high, believe that anything is possible and approach each day with kindness, ambition and a smile.
Mrs Helen Broadley, Principal of the Girls’ Division
Helen was appointed Principal of the Girls’ Division in July 2015. She was previously Senior Subject Teacher in Science and has been with King’s for 16 years. In that time, she has played a full role within the school, including leading the House System and extra-curricular activities, organising the Speakers’ Club, participating in the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme, leading Ski Trips and a World Challenge Expedition and has actively led the Cheer and trampolining teams to great success.
Prior to joining King’s, Helen was Head of Biology at St Hilary’s (now Alderley Edge School for Girls). Helen graduated from the University of Nottingham with a degree in Zoology and gained a PGCE in Science from Worcester College of Higher Education. Helen lives locally and has two children, both of whom are at King’s.
Mr Richard Davies, Principal of Sixth Form
Richard read Modern History and completed his PGCE at Jesus College, Oxford. He has a wide range of teaching experience in the state and private sector in the UK and in New Zealand. Richard was involved in establishing a new Sixth Form College as an Assistant Principal, and then Vice Principal, in Salisbury. His career has included spells as a Deputy Head, Head of History, Humanities Co-ordinator and Director of Examinations and Testing. He has also been an examination team leader for A Level History and was a member of the AMiE Council between 2016 and 2018.
Richard has led a range of overseas trips, supported Duke of Edinburgh expeditions and organised a range of political and historical events for students. He is also a regular volunteer at Junior Parkrun.
Mrs Ruth Roberts, Senior Teacher
Ruth read English and Modern Languages at Oxford University, graduating in 1987 with First Class Honours, having spent a year as a language assistant in Germany. After university, she pursued her interest in literature at Sotheby’s in London, where she was senior cataloguer of English printed books and manuscripts.
Relocation to the North West gave Ruth the chance to study for her PGCE qualification at Manchester University. In 2005 she joined King’s and served as Head of Year 7 and as Vice-Principal of the Sixth Form before being appointed Principal of the Sixth Form in 2011. In July 2015, Ruth was appointed as Senior Teacher.
In addition to her keen interest in literature, Ruth also has a strong interest in music and the visual arts. She is an enthusiastic theatre-goer and a Manchester United fan. She lives in Bollington with her husband (the Whitbread Award-winning poet Michael Symmons Roberts) and their three sons who have all attended King’s.