An Interview with Dr Richard Robson

Dr Richard Robson is the incoming Principal at Westholme School. We interviewed Dr Robson prior to his arrival in January 2021.

What attracted you to Westholme?

I’ve always known about Westholme School; its family ethos, wonderful setting and strong reputation. I was attracted to the all-round education the school provides. As a school inspector, I have visited many schools and gained a unique perspective of the diverse independent sector. Westholme’s unique holistic approach chimed with my own educational philosophy and this balanced approach, educating the whole child, was very much something that I was looking for.

What brings you back to the North West?

I grew up in the North, so I am very at home with the community feel and of course the weather! Previously, I was Headmaster of an independent school in central Manchester and I always envisaged one day of leading a school in a more rural setting. When I arrived for my interview at Westholme, I remember just standing in the car park next to the swimming pool, mesmerized by the breath-taking panoramic view that completely envelops the school. I’m so excited about the opportunity to live and work within the beautiful Ribble Valley.

What do you think of Westholme so far?

I have been very impressed with the students I have met so far; they are friendly and clearly very switched on. I was also struck by how the staff camaraderie, particularly during this unprecedented global pandemic, has really pulled them together. I am looking forward to becoming part of this vibrant, Westholme community and getting to know all the staff, students and their families from January.

What will you hope to bring to Westholme?

The departing Head Boy described Westholme to me as ‘the best of both worlds.’ I hope to build on this concept and continue to develop the school in providing academic rigour and holistic opportunities, inside and outside the classroom. In June 2019, the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) reported that nearly half of all employers found young people were not ready for the world of work. They said that broader skills are needed. I firmly believe that these 21st century skills, such as problem-solving, resilience, communication and adaptability are essential for employability and to sustain a successful career in the modern workplace.

What should we look out for in the future as you take Westholme School forward?

I have been encouraged by the strategic vision the governors have for the school; a seamless education for children from 3 – 18. By 2022, all Westholme pupils will be educated on one site at Wilmar Lodge on Meins Road and a new, state-of-the-art Prep School will open. Through this multimillion-pound project, many school facilities will benefit from a programme of improvement.

In 2023, Westholme celebrates its centenary. I am thrilled to be joining the school at such a momentous time in the school’s history. My ambition is to continue to provide a first-class, outstanding education for Westholmians for many years to come.