Staff Farewells

Our final farewells go to Mrs Ceri Smee, Deputy Head, and Mr Ben Taylor, Head of Rugby.

A Deputy’s role is always about ‘being prepared’ and our Deputy Head, Mrs Smee, has certainly always ensured that we plan ahead and are ready for the next challenge at RGS.

Appointed as Academic Deputy in 2012, Mrs Smee became lead Deputy following Nigel Lowson’s retirement in 2014. She was more than ready for these roles having had a number of different positions, including Assistant Head and Head of the Science Faculty, at Pate’s Grammar School.


Mrs Smee’s knowledge particularly of the academic side of the School has been so valuable in our academic focus over the last 4 years. We have all appreciated her straight talking and her organisation; her willingness to cut to the chase and drive through a project. This efficiency is evident in all that she has done here, whether it was analysing exam results or working out staff allocations when she first arrived as Academic Deputy, or managing budgets for departments, or dealing with Cover as sole Deputy. Maximum efficiency and minimum of fuss have allowed the School to become more effective in so many areas. She has masterminded Inspection across all three schools so well and our classification as ‘Excellent in all areas’ was a triumph in the last full ISI Inspection.

Mrs Smee has never forgotten her roots in the classroom as a Biology teacher and in supporting her department. She is an excellent teacher who embraces new challenges whether they are changes to examination specifications, the demands of technology or Science practicals requirements. She has also run a biennial trip abroad to NASA and each time this trip runs several parents comment about how impressive the organisation is, and how much their children have enjoyed the trip. This broadening of the pupils’ interests outside the classroom with such an unusual and exciting trip is so important, but it is time-consuming to organise, and Mrs Smee has fitted this in alongside her other commitments.

Mrs Smee has decided to take a step back from Senior Management in order to return to the classroom that she loves and to run the Biology department at Pate’s Grammar School. She is, of course, vastly over-qualified for the post and I am sure she will do a superb job. She will also appreciate not having to take on the M5 commute from Cheltenham every morning!

I would like to thank Mrs Smee on behalf of all of us for all that she has done at RGS over the past 6 years in this very challenging and crucial role. We wish her and her family all the very best for the future.

John Pitt



Mr Ben Taylor started at RGS as a Newly Qualified Teacher in 2007 the year of the merger with the Alice Ottley School, and look how far he has come.

He has thrown himself into life at the School and, although most of you will know him as a PE and Games teacher, or for his prowess on the Rugby and Athletic fields, he has organised many ski trips, three rugby tours and A Level sports analysis trips to various Universities. There is not much that Mr Taylor does not know about Strength and Conditioning training; he leads by example and he is a specialist in Exercise Physiology for the A Level PE course.

Mr Taylor was Eld House Master, a form tutor and 2nd Lt. in the Army CCF section. He is an exceptional teacher and coach with two Modus Cup wins under his belt and has taken four teams to National English Schools Athletics Association Track and Field Cup Finals, placing us in the top ten teams in the country.He has a lovely manner with staff and pupils alike. This is most notable in the numerous Modus Cup matches that he has organised, always there for the pupils win, lose or draw. He is moving on to become Director of Sport at Wycliffe College and we will miss his expertise, commitment and positive approach. We all wish him the very best for the next step in his career.