Headmaster's Address

Jonathan Carroll has been the Headmaster at St Piran's School for 17 years and will be leaving the school at the end of July 2019. From September 2019 St Piran's will welcome a new Headteacher, Mr Sebastian Sales.

In keeping with the school's inclusive ideology, we asked our pupils to find out more about Mr Carroll; to ask the questions that matter most to you and your child…

The first day can be very scary. How you did you feel on your first day at St Piran's?

I started here when I was 39 and I remember feeling very nervous, taking control of a well-established co-ed day school! The staff were very experienced and comfortable in their roles but I knew that changes had to happen to move the school along. I clearly remember going up many staircases to find the staff-room - but it seemed like each one I tried led to somewhere that I didn’t want to go to! Getting to know the children was hard to begin with and then I had to get to know the parents, the staff, the Governors, the grandparents, the contractors, the suppliers, the senior school Heads and the friends of the school! It was daunting at times, but you only have one first day. Every day after that, it gets a little easier, until it feels like a home from home.

What made you choose St Piran's as the school for you?

It was a great fit as I had worked in a variety of schools: a boys-only school, a boarding school, a state school, an overseas school, a girls-only school and a co-ed day school, so I had the background I needed. 

St Piran's just seemed to fit with all I wanted from a school; the Christian ethos and family 'feel' was very strong and I liked that.

Admission Process

What did you like about it then?

The same as I do now – the family ethos. The passion in the staff, the support of parents and the guiding insight of the Governors.

What were your plans to make it better?

I was given two jobs by the Governors – to promote and retain coeducation and, secondly, to make it the best Prep School around, holding on to tradition where it was needed, but not being afraid of innovation. My motto has always been, 'Never say Never' because you don't know what's around the corner and how you'll need to bend and flex with the times.  My previous experiences with such a wide range of schools in this country, and overseas, put me in a fantastic position to understand just what makes an outstanding school.

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What do you think are the best things about the school several years later?

The school knows what it stands for and does it brilliantly well.  We're very successful in supporting children throughout the school and in helping them achieve their very best.  Opportunities abound and, each year, we offer more and more!  The fact we are now a three-form entry school, from Reception to Year 6, practically full in all year groups, financially sound, able to plan proactively with the best interests of the children in mind, is superb!

What are your most memorable events/days of your time at St Piran's?

There are too many to mention and some are unrepeatable! It is genuinely the children that make each and every day special. Corny though it sounds, it's why you go into education, why every day is better than the day before and not as good as the next day will be!

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After seventeen years, how attached have you become to the school?

I will be crying openly when I have to leave!

What are the most important factors that make this school happy?

Each single person who is in it and has been in it has made it just such a joyous environment in which to work and learn. Ensuring there's time for everyone is crucial; the children, staff and parents will always come first – but we put the children above everything and everyone else.  Providing an environment that gives opportunities, where there is no fear or threat, where support and encouragement are the key words, where a growth mindset prevails and mistakes are accepted and expected: those are the factors that make this school such a happy one.

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Anything else you'd like to add?

A school is only as good as its staff, pupils and parents. Facilities can be as good or bad as you like, but children will learn where staff are passionate, pupils are actively supported and where parents believe in and encourage their children at home.  

For details on our admissions process and to request a prospectus

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