The PMSA and the Clayfield College Council today announced the appointment of Dr Andrew Cousins as the seventh Principal of Clayfield College commencing in January 2020.
Dr Cousins is currently Deputy Principal of Presbyterian Ladies’ College, a large, independent girls school in Perth, and will return to Queensland with his family as Clayfield’s Principal which will soon celebrate 90 years of history.
Chair of the Clayfield College Council Dr Anne Bennett said she is looking forward to personally introducing Dr Cousins to the Clayfield College staff, students and community when he visits Brisbane in November.
“Dr Cousins has developed an outstanding reputation as an educator, leader and colleague in high-performing independent schools,” Dr Bennett said.
“Dr Cousins’ strong spiritual and community values, passion for music and the sciences together with his enthusiasm for great educational outcomes for students align closely to the values and culture of Clayfield College.
“I know the Clayfield community will embrace these attributes as well as Dr Cousins’ genuine, warm and engaging manner,” she said.
Dr Cousins strongly believes that students perform their best when they are deeply engaged and have the right mix of opportunities to achieve personal success.
His University of Queensland PhD thesis Gender inclusivity in secondary Chemistry; a case study behind participation and performance patterns in secondary school chemistry, examined students’ perceptions about success, motivation, and enjoyment and their significance in student achievement.
“The education of the whole child and providing students with the opportunity to discover their talents have been of particular interest to me for a long time and formed the basis for my PhD in education,” Dr Cousins said.
“Clayfield’s reputation as the small school with the big heart is particularly appealing to me, as I believe the best part of being a school leader is the opportunity to spend time with the students and wider community.
“My family and I are looking forward to embracing the traditions of the Clayfield College community and participating fully in the life of the school.”
As well as having a big heart, Dr Cousins believes an independent school must constantly seek to improve student and staff outcomes, keep abreast of current thinking and strive for a culture of trust, accountability and performance.
When announcing Dr Cousins’ resignation to the Presbyterian Ladies’ College community, Principal Cate Begbie said that “excellence is often paired with high aspirations” and these are characteristics that were true of Andrew Cousins.
“He has been an outstanding colleague and I have no doubt that Clayfield is in the best of hands,” Ms Begbie said.
Prior to his current role, Dr Cousins held the position of Dean of Teaching and Learning and Dean of Middle Years Learning at Somerset College on the Gold Coast.
Dr Cousins is actively involved in opportunities for students to follow their passions, particularly in school music programs, school tours, outdoor education and student leadership opportunities.
Dr Cousins holds a Doctor of Philosophy, a Postgraduate Diploma in Education, a Bachelor of Science, and a Bachelor of Music. He is also a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, an Associate of Music Australia (The Australian Music Examination Board) and served on the Board of Governors at Cromwell College at the University of Queensland.
He has published papers from his PhD in the Cambridge Journal of Education and the International Journal of Science Education.
Dr Bennett said the Clayfield College Council and the PMSA selected Dr Cousins as the outstanding candidate after a nationwide search and rigorous recruitment process.
“Dr Cousins brings a keen intelligence as an educator and is a part of the new generation of education leaders. The PMSA and the College Council very much look forward to working with him and the contemporary approaches and ideas that he will bring to our College,” Dr Bennett said.