Greenbank School

Greenbank Preparatory School has appointed former Olympic flat-water canoeist Malcolm Johnson as their new Headteacher.





Greenbank Preparatory School has appointed former Olympic flat-water canoeist Malcolm Johnson as their new Headteacher.

Malcolm takes over from Janet Lowe, who in her 12 years at the independent co-educational primary school on Heathbank Road in Cheadle Hulme has helped Greenbank win a series of national awards for academic success, ecology, parental engagement and value for money, with the school roll rising year on year.

Malcolm isn’t moving far, coming from Cheadle Hulme Junior School where he has been Deputy Head since 2015, where as well as teaching across the full curriculum to all age groups he had responsibility for budgets, marketing and parent relations

Malcolm went to Belmont Comprehensive in County Durham, before studying Sports Science and Biology at Liverpool University.

He began his career as a secondary school teacher in schools across his home county Durham, before joining Altrincham Preparatory School as both an academic and physical education specialist.

However, it was his calling as a world class flat water canoeist that saw him take a three years career break from 2001 to 2004 moving to the National Watersports Centre in Nottingham and competing for Team GB in the European and World Championships, as well as being a member of the wider squad from the 2004 Athens Olympics.

He continues to commentate on his sport for Eurosport when time allows and is now recognised as one of the eminent figures in British canoeing

After his professional sports career, Malcolm first taught in an international school in Germany working largely with European, Japanese and American children, before coming back to Stockport Grammar Junior School as a Class Teacher.

However, having worked in two of Cheshire’s largest independent schools, he is now relishing the opportunity to work in a smaller more familial environment on which Greenbank has forged its reputation since opening in 1951.

Malcolm said: “The moment I stepped into Greenbank I felt the warm, family sense of community where pupils are valued, well known and keen to learn. Greenbank's values match my own: a caring school with no limits to the ambition for their pupils: nurture and academic excellence come hand in hand.”

He added: “My philosophy is to know the child first and foremost. If a person is known well and nurtured they will be willing, indeed keen, to challenge themselves, to see what they can achieve, to look to learn from all experiences: both success and failure, and to enjoy the process of learning. 

“This can only be done by educating the whole child: to understand their place and responsibilities in society, contribute to their communities and live fulfilled lives.

“This is not a philosophy which is limited to the classroom, it needs to be an approach throughout their school lives and will be something pupils will take with them well beyond school.”

Married to Fiona, Malcolm is a dedicated family man with two children aged eight and 11, but when he has time he loves nothing more than to go running on the hills.

Chair of Greenbank Trustees Philip Enstone said: “Replacing Janet, who has been a truly outstanding Head, was never going to be an easy task and after an exhaustive recruitment process with some outstanding applicants drawn from the length and breadth of the country we are absolutely delighted to welcome Malcolm who was working virtually within a stone’s throw.

Philip added: “We have many exciting plans to continue our ground-breaking traditions and we know Malcolm is the person to lead that vision during the next part of our journey.”