Blackheath High School appoints new deputy head in charge of student mental health

A private school has appointed a drama teacher as its deputy head in charge of student mental health and wellbeing.

Blackheath High School has appointed Chris Alaru from South Hampstead High School, another member of the Girl’s Day School Trust (GDST).

He had been at South Hampstead since 2017 as a drama teacher and Head of Year Eight and created a ‘whole school Buddy’ scheme for Year 9-11 students.

He began teaching Australia then worked in state schools for a decade.

Mr Alaru said: “I’m delighted to have joined Blackheath High School and am particularly excited to be taking over as leader of the pastoral team. 

“I have long admired Blackheath for its commitment to teaching life skills and emotional intelligence to students alongside their traditional education.

Yet since joining the school it has been the extraordinary sense of community that has really struck me.

Each student is encouraged to celebrate their creativity and individuality and I can’t wait to play my part.”

Carol Chandler-Thompson, Head of Blackheath High School said: “We couldn’t be happier to welcome Chris to the Blackheath community.

Chris is committed to putting students’ emotional and social wellbeing first and is already bringing an amazing level of energy to the pastoral team. 

“At Blackheath we are always looking to prepare our students for life beyond our walls through comprehensive co-curricular activities.

Chris is going to be instrumental in delivering these going forwards.”


Pictured: Chris Alaru – leader of the pastoral team Blackheath High School

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