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Sir William Atkinson appointed as Chairman of the Lyric Hammersmith’s Board

Sir William Atkinson

Theatre news

THE LYRIC Hammersmith has announced that Sir William Atkinson has been appointed Chairman of the theatre’s board from November 6, 2015.

Sir William, who has been a director on the Lyric’s board since March 2010, will be working closely with the Lyric’s Artistic Director, Sean Holmes, and newly appointed Executive Director, Sian Alexander.

He succeeds Kevin McGrath DL who is stepping down after ten years on the Board with the last four as Chairman, having overseen the completion of the Lyric’s £20 million Capital Development Project and creation of the new Reuben Foundation Wing.

Sir William Atkinson said: “I am looking forward to working closely with the staff at the Lyric to build on and extend its reputation for innovation and excellence. The recently completed extension creates a dynamic and inspirational space that further enhances the Lyric’s ability to entertain, educate and transform the lives of young people drawn from this richly diverse community.”

Sir William was born in Jamaica. During the 1970s, he taught in a number of secondary schools in North and South London and achieved his first of three Headships in 1986. He was appointed Head of Phoenix High School in 1995 enjoying many years working with the students, staff and the White City Community. Sir William was Knighted in 2008 for Services to Education and Community Relations.

In addition, over the course of his teaching career, he has received a number of other awards and accolades including the Leadership & Diversity Award: GG2 Teacher of the Year (2002), an Honorary Doctorate from the University of North London for Services to Secondary Education (2002), London Schools & the Black Child “Teacher of the Year” Award (2008), Magisterio Prize for Educational Leadership, Madrid Spain (2012) and an Honorary Doctorate from The Open University (2014).

Sir William is currently on the board of Trustees for Research Autism, the Board of Directors for the Royal Shakespeare Company, the Board of the Clink Charity and Governor of the Tottenham University Technical College.

He has also been involved with numerous organisations and groups at both national and local level. These have included being a Council Member of the Industrial Society (1996-2000), a member of the DFEE Standards Task Force (1997-2001), a member of the Home Office Justice Task Force (1999-2000), a member of the RSA Council from 2004, a member of the London BME Cracking Crime Partnership Board (2006), Deputy Chair of the National Judging Panel for the Teaching Awards (2006-2009), a member of the Fulham Schools Commission (2007), Chair of Hammersmith & Fulham Youth Task Group (2007-2008), a National Leader of Education (2010) and Commissioner for the Family Commission (2010-2011).

Tipping the Velvet continues at the Lyric Hammersmith until October 24. Also at the Lyric: Cinderella (November 21 to January 3, 2016) and Raymond Briggs’ Father Christmas (November 20 to December 24, 2015).