A Fond Farewell to our Principal

4th June 2018

Our Principal, Alice Wrighton, who has led the college through both exciting and challenging times in education over the past 10 years, will be retiring at the end of this academic year. She will be succeeded by the current Deputy Principal, Dr. Liz Lee.

During her time at Richard Taunton, Alice was instrumental in securing the long-term future of the college through strong partnerships and, most recently, academising and forming a multi-academy trust partnership with St Vincent College in Gosport.  Under her leadership, the college has seen a significant increase in the number of students securing places at university and developed a strong reputation for its ‘whole person’ approach, promoting social mobility through high-quality teaching and individual support, and securing excellent progression opportunities.

No-one can deny Alice’s passion for providing a great all-round education for young people in our city. She has taken a special interest in music and theatre education and has championed excellence in all the creative arts and in sport, within and beyond the college.  She has held positions on many educational networks and worked with local schools and universities to promote excellence within Southampton. Her journey started in the late 1970s teaching history at Priestlands Secondary School and then in the mid-1980s she made the move into sixth form teaching and leadership roles, first at Barton Peveril College,  then Queen Mary’s College in Basingstoke, and finally at Richard Taunton.

Alice says, “The desire to do all I can to promote the well-being, personal development, academic success and progression of every student has motivated me throughout my time in education, and I have loved my job.  It’s the many remarkable individual success stories of students that give me the greatest satisfaction.  These successes are always the result of joint efforts involving students and very dedicated teaching and specialist support staff.  I’ve also hugely enjoyed the opportunity to recruit and develop talented and inspirational teachers and leaders, and I’m very happy to be leaving the college with a very strong team already in place. 

Liz has extensive experience in leadership and management, exceptional local knowledge, and is passionately committed to securing the very highest standards in teaching and learning as well as student support and outcomes.  I am very confident about the future leadership and direction of Richard Taunton and wish Liz every success in her new role.”

Liz will take over as Head of College, a new job title aligned to the multi-academy trust structure, on 31 August 2018. She will work alongside Matt Atkinson, Head of College for St Vincent College and CEO of Lighthouse Learning Trust. The type and level of responsibilities will remain the same. Not only is Liz a great fit for this role but it will also allow for both a seamless transition and continuity of leadership.

Originally from the healthcare sector, Liz then retrained to become a teacher and complete a degree and Ph.D.in psychology at the University of Southampton. She has had a successful track record in education, rising quickly to the role of head of department at Queen Mary’s College and then moving into senior quality improvement and curriculum leadership roles at Richard Taunton.  She was promoted to Deputy Principal at Richard Taunton in 2014. Liz has expert knowledge of college operations from a quality improvement, teaching, pastoral and administrative perspective and is very active on the Southampton Education Forum.

Liz says, “I am absolutely delighted to be given the opportunity to take the college through the next stages of its multi-academy trust journey. Continuous improvement is at the top of my agenda, and we will keep the student experience and quality of teaching and learning at the heart of everything we do.”

Alice will continue to fly the flag for Southampton, in a slightly different capacity, as an ardent supporter and season ticket holder at Southampton Football Club, but she also looks forward to having time to enjoy more of the excellent local cultural offer, especially in music and theatre.