St Leonard’s College is destined for another decade of educational excellence

St Leonard’s College is destined for another decade of educational excellence

The St Leonard’s College Board is delighted to have secured Mr Stuart Davis as Principal until December 2022, ensuring the continued trajectory of educational excellence and world-class pedagogy.


Jen Neate, Chair of St Leonard’s College Council, today shared in an announcement to the College community “Mr Davis has the unanimous and full support of our Board. We have always recognised how very fortunate we are to have a Principal of his calibre; a progressive, empathetic leader and a visionary educator.” Mrs Neate says, “The board is delighted that he has agreed to continue his current contract through until December 2022.”

Born in England and educated at the Royal Hospital School, Mr Davis is a graduate of the University of London and completed his postgraduate studies gaining a Master of Education at Monash University in 1997.  He’s a keen sportsman who still enjoys the opportunity to coach the St Leonard’s College Touch Rugby teams. Mr Davis joined St Leonard’s College as Principal in 2010 following a career in which he held leadership positions with many great educators in some of Australia’s leading independent schools including Trinity Grammar School, Geelong Grammar School, Scone Grammar School and Wesley College.

Mrs Neate shared with the College community in today’s announcement: “Stuart remains committed to providing exceptional and holistic educational experiences that prepare our students for life. From supporting the social justice agenda and encouraging student voice, through to engaging globally with the latest thinking, further developing our impressive staff and building on our warm, inclusive and open culture.”

Mrs Neate says, “St Leonard’s College has enjoyed the most remarkable decade under Stuart’s inspiring leadership. He has steered the College to achieve exceptional academic results and operational performance, engaged excellent teachers who are supported by our outstanding professional development program, installed world-class, dynamic educational programs, and fostered a deep connection with our students and the wider community.

He has also driven enormous physical change to the College with extensive building and refurbishment programs to ensure we offer our students and staff the very best teaching and learning spaces.  The new Merton Senior School building, opened in January, and the upcoming completion of the Leonardian Centre are the most recent manifestations of Stuart’s vision for educational excellence and innovation.  We are excited to see the finalisation of the Leonardian performing arts centre and new STEM laboratories under Stuart’s leadership together with the opportunities provided by our continued participation in the OECD’s 2030 Project – The Future of Education and the upcoming Harvard ‘Education That Matters’ Conference.

We are delighted to progress on our journey of transformational change and commitment to educational excellence with Stuart as the Principal of St Leonard’s College.”

In September 2019, Mr Davis tendered his resignation to St Leonard’s College and was scheduled to finish at the end of term 1 2020. Mr Davis’ decision to resign was motivated by he and his wife’s commitment to unexpected personal matters that they deemed to be of the utmost priority which, at the time, indicated may require extended leave. These personal matters pertained to serving loved ones outside of their immediate family during a time of great need. The board sought to find a solution other than resignation but ultimately accepted Mr Davis’ decision.

With the assistance of Odgers Berndtson, the Board conducted an extensive search for the next Principal.  As the College Board hadn’t concluded a successful appointment for Mr Davis’ successor it was presented with the opportunity to ask him again to reconsider his resignation. Over the last five months, circumstances had evolved in a manner that facilitated a previously unforeseen capacity for Mr Davis to potentially remain at the College after attending to the aforementioned personal commitments over the upcoming Easter break and at the beginning of term 2. During his leave at the beginning of term 2, Deputy Principal, Mrs Lisa Slingsby, will assume the role of Acting Principal.

Mr Davis says, “Having made the decision in September to resign from my role for what were the most fundamental and private of reasons, my wife Bron and I feel both privileged and humbled to be invited to continue our relationship with the College.  We have truly loved our connection over the last ten years and appreciate the opportunity to continue to be a part of the St Leonard’s College community.”