Mr Hartley is 47, married to Merewyn and has two children, aged 11 and 13, who both attend the school.
New to the area, Mr Hartley brings with him a wealth of experience and was previously principal of Elizabeth College in Guernsey.
He said: “I am delighted and honoured to be given this role and am really excited at the prospect of making a real difference to the lives of King’s pupils in years to come.
“King’s is an outstanding school, with a long and distinguished history and I am looking forward to building further on its great tradition.
“I’m also looking forward to getting fully involved in the Chester community and bringing my young family to the North West with all it has to offer and where we have strong family links.”
The King’s School, rated the best co-educational independent school in Cheshire by The Times and The Daily Telegraph, has yet again achieved outstanding results across both its A levels and GCSEs.
In addition to academic success, Mr Hartley believes in making the very most of each individual and that learning at school, in all its forms, should be stimulating and fun.
Mr Hartley recently released his first blog on the school’s website where he encourages students to seize the day and make their lives extraordinary.