Leicester Grammar School Trust announces new Headmaster of Leicester Grammar School and Principal of the Trust

We are delighted to announce the appointment of Dr Graham Purves as Headmaster of Leicester Grammar School and Principal of Leicester Grammar School Trust from September 2025 when John Watson retires.

Graham is currently Head of Senior School and Vice Principal at The Grammar School at Leeds, one of the largest HMC schools and Sunday Times’ North Independent School of the Year 2024. Graham was also a member of the Senior Leadership Teams at two other HMC schools, Portsmouth Grammar School and King Edward VI School Southampton, prior to joining The Grammar School at Leeds five years ago. Graham is an ISI Team Inspector and a member of the Governing Body at another HMC school.

Graham attended RGS Newcastle on an Assisted Place, before reading Physics at Christ Church, Oxford. After a short interval working in industry and medical physics, Graham returned to academia to study for a PhD in Atomic Physics at Durham University, before completing his PGCE at Southampton University.

Graham is interested in all things outdoors and anything that makes him think. He is looking forward to getting to know all within the trust community, and all that the city and region has to offer, including the National Space Centre.

Steven Gasztowicz KC, Chairman of Leicester Grammar School Trust, said: “We are delighted to have appointed Graham Purves to succeed John Watson. We knew we needed an exceptional leader to build on what he has achieved in his outstanding six-year tenure and feel certain that Graham is a worthy successor, with the right combination of vision, passion and commitment to take the Trust from strength to strength”.

Graham said: “I am honoured and excited to succeed John Watson as Principal of the Trust and Head of Leicester Grammar School. From my first visit to the schools, I was bowled over by the school sites, the potential, and, most importantly, by the people I met. Their shared ethos and vision for the schools, with the focus on supporting each individual pupil, absolutely shone through”.

The appointment has been made following the announcement in April of John Watson’s intended retirement. During his leadership of the Trust, pupil numbers in all three of its schools have grown significantly and each of them has been hugely successful. This has included the Grammar School achieving the best A-level results for a co-educational school in the whole of the Midlands in 2023 and being named the Sunday Times East Midlands Independent Senior School of the Year 2024. He has been focussed on the well-being and inclusivity of all the school communities, ensuring a culture where young people are supported to give of their best.