We are pleased to announce that the Governing Body has created a new leadership role, Executive Principal, responsible for both Habs Girls and Habs Boys (the Haberdashers’ Elstree Schools). This move is a testament to the schools’ desire to further progress the implementation of our ambitious ten-year strategic redevelopment plan.

The 2020-2030 strategy has been very clear in its intention to develop ever closer collaboration between the two schools for the benefit of all our students on the campus and to equip them with skills that better prepare them for their future; empowering them to make a profound impact on the world. Our philanthropic founding principles, with our deep sense of purpose in our community, lie at the heart of everything we do to enable future generations to thrive.

As highlighted in the 10-year strategy, the Governing Body, the Heads and the Senior Leadership Teams at both schools are clear about the benefits of single sex education; please be assured there are no plans to merge the schools, nor move to full co-education. Equally, all involved in leadership roles are clear that there are benefits to be gained from the unique co-location of the schools and the opportunity this brings for collaboration and shared academic and co-curricular programmes. There are economies and advantages of scale that the strategy implementation is striving to deliver, be they breadth of opportunity, economic, educational or pedagogical.

Many of you will have witnessed the successful implementation of the first phase of our strategy. The launch of co-education taking place in the Sixth Forms was the result of a year-long restructuring of the school day at both schools and involved multiple system and process changes. There are now collaborative PSHEE sessions and co-curricular activities across all year groups from age 4 through to 18 and the on-campus Habs Boys Pre-Prep (4-7 years) opened in January. It really has been a year of significant achievement and testament to the hard work and dedication of our staff.

Mrs Hardy’s move to the John Lyon School as Head allowed the Governors to reflect and consider the most appropriate leadership structure to best support the schools through their next phase of development. Following discussions with external educational experts and the Haberdashers’ Company, the Governing Board have decided to create the role of Executive Principal for the Haberdashers’ Elstree Schools.

Following a rigorous evaluation process, Mr Gus Lock, currently Habs Boys’ School Headmaster, has been appointed to this role with effect from the new academic year. Since 2018, Mr Lock has led the Boys’ School with clarity, energy and humility, and he is deeply committed to supporting both schools and the specific ambitions of the strategy.

Both Schools will continue to be led by their own Heads and a recruitment process has been initiated to replace Mrs Hardy and Mr Lock. The Heads of Habs Girls and Habs Boys will report to the Executive Principal, Mr Gus Lock; as will the Chief Operating Officer, Mr Rob Dunn, and the existing cross-school roles, including Director of Development, Mr Bill Friar, Director of Marketing and Communications, Mrs Avril Tooley and the Director of Partnerships and Outreach, Mr Josh Plotkin.





Mr Gus Lock MA (Oxon)

Gus was educated at Haberdashers’ Boys’ School. He studied History, Latin and French at A Level, and was House Captain of Strouts. A keen sportsman, Gus captained the rugby team and opened the batting for the 1st XI cricket team.

Gus went on to study Ancient and Modern History at Exeter College, Oxford. Upon graduating, Gus completed a PGCE from Bristol University. In 1999 Gus joined Manchester Grammar School as Teacher of History and stayed for 5 years before joining Merchant Taylors’ School as Head of History. In 2011 Gus took up the position as Deputy Head of Warwick School and from 2013-2018 serving as Headmaster. In summer 2018 Gus came full circle back to Haberdashers’ Boys’ School as Headmaster. He moved onsite to Elstree with his wife, Ali, and their three children.

Since joining in 2018, Gus was thrown straight into demonstrating his strong leadership skills by navigating the school through the complexities of the recent pandemic and new online learning. Working closely with Rose Hardy, he has been instrumental in leading the collaboration between Habs Girls’ and Habs’ Boys’ to deliver the best of single sex education in a co-educational environment. He has overseen the introduction of a number of important changes for the school, including the culture change with a strong diversity and inclusion strategy, ambitious partnership plans and growing our foundation and bursary campaign.

In more recent months, Gus has also been key in the launch of the new building projects, bringing two new state of the art academic hubs to the Senior School and a fantastic new building for the Pre-Prep, bringing all the students together on one site for the first time.

Gus leads with vision, clarity and strong principles. The 10-year strategy plan is now in place and will be driven with commitment and responsibility to bring our schools to the forefront of global education.

In his spare time Gus enjoys a vast range of sports, music, cooking and relaxing with his wife Ali and their three children.