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‘Learning is amazing’ is a phrase you hear frequently and it is written all over the place, even on the cushions in Mr Handscombe’s study. The same ‘loyal dissent’ that has characterised intellectual debate and classroom discussion at Westminster for generations is being fostered in its sapling. Stimulating speakers at the top of their field come to the school to lecture, whether it be on human rights, politics, climate change or science. A select number of students are invited to principal’s tea with them...

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What The Good Schools Guide says

Principal

Since 2014, when the school started, Mr James Handscombe MA (Harvard) BA (Oxon) mathematics PGCE NPQH (early 40s). Previously deputy head at Bexley grammar school, Mr Handscombe started his career in what was perhaps his most formative experience, as a maths teacher at Tonypandy comprehensive school in south Wales. Youthful, purposeful, wholly unaffected but intimidatingly intelligent, he is relishing running the innovative and above all scholarly sixth form he is leading here at HWSF. Married with two school age daughters, he met his wife as a student in Oxford. A truly vocational teacher, Mr Handscombe could have done almost anything with his brilliance and brains, but the children he teaches are the lucky beneficiaries of his calling. Educated at a comprehensive in Sheffield, he went on to achieve a top first in maths at...

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