In August 2020, after a decade as head at Coventry’s King Henry VIII School, Durham University physics specialist Jason Slack took over as King’s School Macclesfield’s Head of Foundation. Not one to be fazed by change, he was nonetheless thrown in at the deep end in this, his ‘once-in-a-career’ challenge. Arriving directly in the middle of Covid, Jason helped oversee this 500-year-old school’s relocation to Prestbury, admit 1,320 tots-to-teens into a now fully co-educational new-build establishment and maintain the morale of the pupils and 220 teaching and the school community’s staff.
Approachable, calm, concerned and above all caring, keen violinist and sportsman Slack was always attracted to King’s School’s ethics. Entirely in-tune with his own, the focus is for pupils to ‘aspire, harbour ambition, work hard, present the best version of themselves and, consequently, achieve.’ And in that order!’ Recently, the school received an ‘excellent’ ISI all-round academic rating and was ranked seventh for academic results in The Sunday Times‘ top 10 independent schools in the North West.
A proud but down-to-earth Yorkshireman, Slack says:
“This world of ours is a most challenging place. To make a difference, it is vital we send well-rounded, adaptable and resilient young people out into the world – youngsters unafraid of failure. Yes, I know, sadly, that the currency of knowledge will diminish. It can be so easily accessed online within seconds. However, to retain and use that knowledge requires skills associated with analysis, judgement and good sense.
Yes, responsibility, leadership, judgement and communal awareness can be encouraged and taught but certainly not by looking at a screen. These life skills rank very highly alongside our full academic, sporting and artistic curricular activities. Irrespective of our longevity, King’s is a school designed for a modern 21st-century education, not an old place adapting to it.”
Jason Slack’s professionalism is enriched by an understanding underpinned by parenthood and family values. His linguist wife, Lindsay, teaches at King’s and one of his undergraduate daughters attended here. No know-all but ever willing and able to learn, he remarks: “I’ve sent off hundreds of university applications in my time, but only after filling in those needed for my own girls, did I appreciate fully the complexities involved and gain a new grasp of what our parents and pupils go through each year.”
The pristine campus lies in 80 acres of lush countryside, surrounded by woodland. It houses a sports centre, 25-metre indoor pool, cricket centre, fitness suite, martial arts and dance studio, a café and a drama studio. Slack is keen for Macclesfield’s community groups, its sports, arts, drama and music clubs to retain links with and utilise the facilities of their flagship independent school, during school holiday time especially. To enable children from lower-income families to enjoy the King’s School experience, bursaries are also available. And despite the two miles’ relocation, King’s still regards itself as intrinsic to the town.
Above all, King’s parents know that under the watchful eye of Jason Slack and in his care, every pupil is a winner.
The King’s School
Telephone: 01625 260000