Before joining the teaching staff of SHS as Head of Chemistry in September 2007, Mr Payne taught Chemistry at Millfield, became Head of Science at Saltus Grammar School in Bermuda and then returned to the UK to teach at Abbotsholme School in Derbyshire.
Alongside his Senior Leadership colleagues, Darren has played a key role in development and innovation plans at the School, including the successful move of junior girls to their new home on Town Walls, and has ambitious plans for the future of Shrewsbury High as a leader in girls’ education. Most recently, alongside outgoing head Jo Sharrock he led the school through an ISI Inspection which saw Shrewsbury High recognised as Excellent in all areas – the highest rating obtainable.
During his time at Shrewsbury High School, he has introduced the highly successful and award nominated Period X life skills programme into the curriculum and overseen improvements to all aspects of teaching, learning and examination results. As a keen footballer he also runs the school football clubs and is also a parent at the school, with his daughter having joined year 7 last year.
Outgoing Head Jo Sharrock, who will be moving to sister GDST school Putney High School, is thrilled that she will be handing over the baton to her SHS colleague, “Having worked closely alongside Mr Payne for the past five years, I cannot think of a better person to entrust with our SHS family. I have every confidence that Mr Payne will be a superb Head and the school will continue to flourish under his leadership. Mr Payne is a true champion of girls’ education and alongside the marvellous Junior Head Mrs Millichamp and the wonderful staff of Shrewsbury High the school will continue to deliver excellence for pupils and their parents”.
As he takes up the reins at one of Shropshire’s leading independent schools, Mr Payne is excited to build on the success of the school as recently recognised in the Inspection Report. “I am delighted to be given the opportunity to lead Shrewsbury High School in the next stage of its history. The school is in excellent health, with an outstanding recent inspection report, successes in all areas of school life and a strong and supportive community. It will be a privilege to build on the strong foundations that Jo Sharrock has set down and I look forward to continuing to embrace the significant opportunities the Girls’ Day School Trust provides. We are fortunate to have a dynamic and ambitious staff body, talented students of great character and a beautiful school site that sits at the heart of the town of Shrewsbury. These are exciting times for the Shrewsbury High community.”