The managing director of an internationally renowned law firm has been appointed Chair of Governors at King William’s College.
Peter Clucas, a former College pupil (OKW) and the current President of the King William's College Society, succeeds Nigel Wood in the role after he stepped down following 26 years as a school governor, including the past 11 as Chair.
Since 2014, Mr Clucas has been the head of the top tier Litigation team at Cains in the Isle of Man, during which time the company, of which he has been a partner since the mid-1990s, has received numerous prestigious awards in recognition of its legal services.
He joined the committee of the Society in 2002, becoming President in 2012 and was appointed a governor in 2014, since when he has sat on the school’s Development and Education committees, as well as being Chair of the Safeguarding Committee for the past four years.
Despite such an active involvement as a governor and through the Alumni Society, Manxman Peter’s association with the school goes back well beyond the last two decades.
As a student from 1977 to 1984, he represented College in the Rugby XV, Cricket XI and Hockey XI, was awarded Athletics Colours and was Head of School.
‘Naturally, it is a huge privilege to have been appointed Chair. Apart from a few years early on when I was concentrating on developing my career at Cains, I have never really lost touch with the school and it has been a real insight and a joy to see how it has developed over the last few decades,’ he explained.
‘Being invited as a volunteer to sit on the Alumni Society and gaining the insight of its valuable work provided me with an introduction to the running of the school and, my involvement in the school’s governance has naturally increased as a full-time governor since 2014.
‘I said yes to this post, partly because of the affection I have to school and the fact I’ve always had the interests of the school at heart, but also because of the role it played in shaping who I am. A College education was transformational to my life both in terms of the education and opportunities it provided, but also the life-long relationships I forged.
‘It is a well-run school; one school, albeit on two sites each offering choices in education which the Island needs; it is also a business; but, above all, it is a community. Being Chair is very much relationship-driven, about rapport with people and it excites me that I will be working alongside a talented team of governors, a first-class senior leadership team, support teams and an entire staff of people who go to great lengths to deliver the best they possibly can to ensure our pupils achieve at such a high level.’
Mr Clucas says College has, traditionally, played a key role in Island life for nearly two centuries, both in terms of the investment in education but also in its contributions to Island life and in the wider community.
‘King William’s College is many things to many people,’ he continued.
‘It provides a choice in that it offers a unique choice of education and curriculum which individuals can select, in some cases supported by bursaries and scholarships which is how I was able to attend College. However, it is equally important in offering opportunity and employment. With 180 staff, we are one of the biggest employers in the south of the Island.
‘Delivering this educational offering is attractive to many, whether they be Island based like myself, those attracted to the Island due to its role as an offshore finance centre, or those looking for the excellence and security offered by an independent school located in the Isle of Man. As such, it is a magnet for international investment, projecting a world-wide view of the Island. Many of our former pupils then take the Isle of Man with them wherever they travel for the rest of their lives.
‘We must continue to maintain, indeed raise, our standards to remain attractive to student, child and parent alike and to seek to make a first-class education available to more people.
‘Key to it all is the relationship between the school, the pupils and their parents and guardians and I am looking forward to working with all members of our community in the years ahead.’
Mr Clucas paid tribute to his predecessor Nigel Wood for his time in office.
‘As a school we have been so fortunate to have an individual of the calibre of Nigel as Chair of Governors and it speaks volumes that he has also written to each of the parents this week thanking them for their support during his tenure.
‘It is in no small way down to his input and dedication that the School has been as successful as it has for many years and developed a growing national reputation.
‘We all wish him well and would like to put on record our thanks for his efficient management and perceptive governance which is central to the effectiveness and wellbeing of any school and its community.’