Matthew Armstrong is Assistant Headmaster (External Relations) at Charterhouse, and was until recently responsible for all academic aspects of the education provided at the school. He was instrumental in introducing both Pre-U examinations and the IB Diploma Programme; these two in combination mean that Charterhouse has a sixth form programme which is among the very richest available. He has also overseen the introduction of iGCSE syllabuses in various subjects at the school. Prior to Charterhouse Matthew worked at Lancing College, McKinsey & Co. and Winchester College. He started his career teaching Modern Languages following a degree in French and German, and more recently ran the English Department at Charterhouse. He is currently enjoying resurrecting other languages by teaching some junior Latin and beginners’ Italian, as well as continuing to teach English. In the holidays he is most likely to be found up a mountain in the Alps, either skiing or mountaineering; occasional sightings in Greece and Scotland are also reported.
The Cheltenham Ladies' College
Eve became the 11th Principal of the Cheltenham Ladies’ College in September 2011 having been educated at College some twenty years earlier. Eve has a degree in Engineering Science from Cambridge and started working for Ove Arup & Partners, Structural Engineers before followed her heart into the teaching profession. She began her career at Radley College teaching Economics and subsequently spent ten years at Epsom College where positions held include Housemistress and Head of Sixth Form. Most lately Eve was Director of Studies at Blundell’s School in Devon before returning to College as Principal. She is married to James, is widely travelled and has a broad range of interests including theatre, music, horticulture and sustainability initiatives.
Nicholas Allen entered the world of preparatory schools as a seven-year-old in 1960. From his prep school, Barfield, he went on to Bedales School and later read History and Archaeology at Exeter University. He has taught in rural boarding schools, the British Embassy School, Athens, and has been Headmaster of three prep schools: Ipswich Prep, and two London schools, Arnold House and, currently, Newton Prep. He has been a Headmaster for 25 years. Nicholas has been elected Chairman of The Independent Association of Preparatory Schools (IAPS) for the academic year 2012/13. IAPS represents approximately 600 leading prep schools in this country and overseas.
The Alpha Plus Education Group
Jane Ritchie’s passion for Early Years Education began over 30 years. Her sensible, good humoured guidance to parents on choosing the right school, comprehending the complexities of the London private school system and understanding their young child’s developmental needs is much sought after.
After working at Garden House and Wetherby School she owned and ran The Minors Nursery School for many years before selling it to The Alpha Plus Education Group with whom she remains as a Consultant.
She believes that a young child’s introduction to education should be a supremely happy one and that getting it right at nursery level is vital for ensuring both their social and academic future.
She travels widely and juggles any spare time between that and her other passion – living and gardening in South West France.
Jonathan Leigh took up the position of Master, Marlborough College in August 2012. He was educated as a chorister at St George’s, Windsor before moving on to Eton College and subsequently Corpus Christi College, Cambridge where he was a Choral Exhibitioner (tenor). Here he read History and met Emma who was at New Hall where she also read History.
Jonathan has spent his entire career in independent boarding education. For 16 years he was respectively Housemaster, Head of History and then Second Master at Cranleigh School. From there he became Headmaster at Blundell’s School for 12 years taking it to its 400th anniversary. At Blundell’s he introduced full co-education, promoted flexible boarding and brought a local prep school on to the campus.
Next, Jonathan crossed the Atlantic to be the ninth Headmaster of Ridley College, Ontario for 8 years. This Canadian school of 650 pupils was a multinational boarding environment. It was very strong in the co-curricular belief that the triple ‘A’ advantage of academics, arts and athletics (widespread sporting opportunity) were fundamental to wellbeing. Ridley College has recently researched and introduced the International Baccalaureate enhancing global connectivity.
Beyond the all encompassing existence of 24/7 modern day boarding, Jonathan’s interests include singing, widespread travel, his house in the Charente, France, his Labrador, Lucy, and more than a passing interest in horse-racing.
Port Regis School
Benedict Dunhill, jazz enthusiast, Francophile, gourmet cook and erstwhile banker, with a BA Hons degree from UCL in French Language and Literature, heeded a call to arms as schoolmaster, teaching French to A level at Blundell’s, then taking up boarding as Housemaster and French Teacher at Worth School. When the opportunity of a headship at a Preparatory School popped up, he grabbed the chance to become Headmaster of Moreton Hall in Suffolk, where with his wife, Elizabeth and their three young children, it was a natural progression. Six years later and an ever onward march in his career, he was appointed Headmaster of Port Regis School in Dorset, a sleek, efficient and outstandingly located, larger preparatory school, known for its excellence in the sporting and academic fields. Revelling in this period of a child’s life, the metamorphosis of tender seven year old girls and boys into confident, well-rounded early-teenage individuals, well equipped to take on the mantle of senior schools, gives him an ‘owl-like overview’ of the magic of the ‘Prep School boarding experience’!
Christ College Brecon
Emma Taylor, head of Christ College Brecon since 2007, was educated at Sherborne and Canford, was an Open Exhibitioner at New College, Oxford where she read PPE. She has taught Economics, Philosophy and Religious Studies as well as preparing candidates for Oxbridge applications. She began her teaching career at Stowe where she ran the Sixth Form girls’ house before moving to Canford and running a girls’ boarding house. From here she moved to be Deputy Head and Admissions Tutor at Dean Close School, Cheltenham. In addition to her passions for both co-education and the educational benefits of boarding, she enjoys watching rugby (fortunately for the Head of a Welsh school), reading, theatre, music, the Times Crossword and making her regular contributions to BBC radio and TV. She is also a prep school governor. She is married and has two children.
If you’re looking for a truly experienced but thoroughly up to date head, you will enjoy meeting Martin Cooke. With 18 years experience at the helm Martin has built an astonishing reputation for Clayesmore in his time there, first of all in the Prep and then, for the last 12 years at the Senior School where pupil numbers have grown by 50% in that time. What’s the secret? It’s almost certainly Martin’s passion for what he does – for wanting the very best for every boy and girl in his care and for his insatiable appetite for seeking ways to improve what’s on offer in his school. As we write, Clayesmore is building a large new Business School and also an extra boarding house for girls, but innovation in the school’s daily life is a watchword in this beautiful school in North Dorset. Martin is never far from his iphone and his ipad or can be found knee deep in a Bach Prelude and Fugue on the school’s fabulous new organ. Whether he will ever find a way to encourage the school to indulge his other nerdy interest… and buy him a second hand fire engine remains to be seen!
Philip John, Headmaster of Gresham’s, in Holt on the North Norfolk coast, began his professional life in business thereafter taking up teaching mathematics at Rugby School where he also became both a housemaster and master in charge of rugby. He then moved to be Principal of King William College on the Isle of Man and thence, in 2008, to his current job.
Bringing to bear both his experience of industry and education he has modernised the schools structures, worked with the School’s Foundation successfully to raise money for bursaries and scholarships, launched a new 3 – 18 curriculum, including plans for a new Sixth Form Centre, which will include a move to the IB Diploma Programme from 2015.
He has both played and coached rugby at first class level, loves music, singing and playing the cello and guitar in particular, enjoys theatre and reading military history. Neighbours close to his home in France, for reasons that are not entirely clear, believe he makes his living as a postman…..
Charlie Bostock is Registrar at Uppingham School which he joined, after an extended Gap Year, from Eastbourne College. Here he taught biology, was a resident boarding house tutor, then Housemaster to both a boys and then girls boarding house, and finally one of the Assistant Heads. A boarder himself from seven to eighteen at Sandroyd School and Ampleforth, this coupled with degrees from Oxford in Zoology and Forestry offered an appropriate background to his role as a teacher both for his involvement in the labs, as an athletics and rugby coach, leading school expeditions abroad and involvement in the pastoral side of boarding school life. In the absence of a class to teach he enjoys preaching at prep schools, keeps pigs in his garden and still hopes to pass an audition for the Uppingham Swing band as a trumpeter. He’s married with three children.
The Good Schools Guide
Ralph Lucas edits the Good Schools Guide, the invaluable reference point for parents looking for schools embracing as it does, reports on the best of both the independent and the maintained sectors. The Guide has a team of inspectors who research schools with parents and others, visit them, and then write their independent and critical reviews. He is therefore peculiarly well placed to talk, as he will be at the Independent Schools Show, on “what to look for when choosing a school”.
He was himself educated at Eton and Oxford, became a Chartered Accountant and then worked for S.G. Warburg (merchant bankers). He has run the Guide since 2000, and is a Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Mercers, a company with a keen interest in education supporting a number of the most famous of the country’s schools.
ACS Egham International School
Jeremy Lewis has been Head of School at ACS Egham International School since August 2010. Before joining ACS, Jeremy was Headmaster at Istanbul International Community School where he had been since 2005. He was also Deputy Head of School at the International School of Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam. Jeremy has extensive knowledge and experience of the International Baccalaureate programmes which cater to students across the age ranges. His IB experience includes hands-on teaching and school leadership positions in six different countries over a period of nearly 30 years. Jeremy has also hosted workshops on introducing the IB Diploma and training IB Diploma Coordinators. Apart from nearly 30 years experience in international schools which offer the IB, Jeremy spent his formative years growing up in Cape Town.
Independent Schools Council
Barnaby Lenon is Chairman of the Independent Schools Council, a position to which he was appointed after retiring as Head Master of Harrow School, and is on the Board of Ofqual at this crucial time. He went to both Oxford and Cambridge Universities before beginning his teaching career at Eton. He has taught geography, religious studies (his father was a clergyman), critical thinking and history of art and at Harrow was Master in charge of Croquet. His face may be a familiar one. He has appeared on Newsnight, in documentaries on schools and more recently on the BBBC’s Masterchef. Tatler Magazine recently made him their Head of the Year.
Marketing Consultant to St Dunstan's College & Truth Education
Ruth Thorogate, was educated at Guildford High School, going on to read Ancient History & History at Nottingham University. She started her professional career in the arts marketing sector, including a Summer Season with British Youth Opera. She then moved to the Press Office at the Independent Schools Council Information Service, before moving to the London & South East regional office in which capacity she visited several hundred schools, organised conferences and training sessions for schools marketing departments, schools shows, wrote for parenting and lifestyle magazines and undertook a range of market research initiatives. She has two pre-school age children and is thus in the same position as so many at the show - making decisions on how and where they should be educated. She is currently advising parents in a consultant capacity, both one to one and for HR departments of organisations who have an international work force, and is also marketing consultant to St Dunstan's College in South East London
King Edward’s School, Witley
Born in Rutland, he attended the Prebendal School in Chichester, where he was a Cathedral Chorister, before winning a scholarship to Rugby School. After a Gap year spent teaching in a tiny Yorkshire prep school, he read PPE at Oxford, gaining a First. Teacher training in History followed at York University, and then after some time back in Oxford he took a temporary post at Wells Cathedral School prior (he thought) to joining the Civil Service. Ten years later he was still there running the Religious Studies Department and a senior boys’ boarding house, and married. In December 2005 he, Victoria and their two-week-old daughter moved to Sevenoaks School where he became Deputy Head. Sevenoaks gave him his first experience of the IB Diploma, now the sole Sixth Form curriculum at King Edward’s. At Sevenoaks he also led the planning for a £12m performing Arts Centre which opened in April 2010. John Attwater is a governor of two schools and on the Advisory Board of the Springboard Foundation for Boarding Bursaries. His other interests include reading, cricket, his family (now numbering 2 daughters) and restoring their farmhouse in Wales.
The King's School Canterbury
Educated at Trinity College Dublin, ex-International oarsman and double Henley winner, Head of Geography, Head of Year, and later Registrar at King’s Canterbury (Co-ed Boarding). Has taught at KCS Wimbledon (London Day) where he also ran the rowing, as well as at five other Prep and senior schools in Ireland and the UK. A member of the Interview panel for Geography at Hertford College Oxford for over ten years. Two older children have worked their way through the system (Wellesley House and King’s), one to Durham and Penn State and on to a career in Geology, the other to Trinity College Dublin and The Yale School of Drama. He also has two younger children both currently at a rural Primary School in Kent. Rory also runs The King’s Society (social, cultural, educational) and in his spare time gardens on a couple of acres of The North Downs. He has a wealth of experience of teaching, interviewing, advising parents, selecting pupils and passing those pupils on to the next stage in their education
Keith Budge MA, PGCE Oxford (University College)
Keith was educated at Rossall School before attending University College, Oxford where he read English, followed by a PGCE. He also played rugby for the university. He began his career at Eastbourne College, moving on to Marlborough, where following a year’s teaching exchange in California, he became a housemaster. He became Headmaster of Loretto School in 1995 and of Bedales in 2001. Here he introduced the Bedales Assessed Courses, a more stretching and imaginative alternative to GCSEs, as strongly endorsed by Universities as they are by pupils and teachers who enjoy their original content. Keith is married with three university age children. He is top to toe Celtic fringe – half Scots and half Welsh.
I joined Dunhurst in the last term of year five, moving from Portsmouth Grammar School, and since then have stayed at Bedales for the rest of my time at school. I am a keen sportsman and try to get involved in as much sport as I can, especially rugby and football. I am also in the 6th form play this term as although Drama is not a chosen subject for my A levels, I still enjoy acting. My A levels are Maths, Economics and History which included Physics last year as well. Next year I would like to take a GAP year, then followed by a course at university I have yet to decide!
I am currently studying for my A-Levels in French, Latin, English Literature and Chemistry, which I am really enjoying. I joined Bedales at the beginning of the sixth form, and before then I went to Portsmouth High School (GDST). Next year I am hoping to study French and Linguistics at university. My hobbies include singing and playing hockey.
Pippa Naegeli, upper sixth
Pippa has attended St. Swithun’s as a day girl since she was eleven, and lives close by to Winchester. Currently taking German, English Literature and History A-levels, she is an academic scholar, and hopes to study English at university, and later pursue a career in law. Outside of school, Pippa enjoys the theatre, and has danced in a number of productions to support an interest in ballet
Amina Clayton, upper sixth
Amina Clayton is head girl at St Swithun’s School, Winchester and an academic scholar whose interests include music, drama and dance. Amina is active in the school’s debating society and hopes to further this skill when she leaves school. Currently studying for A-Levels in further mathematics, Greek, and philosophy and ethics, Amina hopes to go on to read Classics at university. She is a weekly boarder.
Stanbridge Earls School
Peter Trythall was educated at The Kings’ School Canterbury after which he read History & Politics at Stirling University. He then spent nine happy years in the Army, particularly enjoying the pastoral and instructional parts of a soldier’s life and thus, when injury meant he had to change career, he went into teaching. First he joined Cheltenham College, teaching his university subjects, becoming a Housemaster, coaching the 1st XV and being in charge of the CCF. During his time at Gordonstoun, his second appointment, he developed a deep respect for the holistic vision of the school; success outside the classroom helps to building confidence within it. Next it was to Bolitho School in the South West, where he was both head of an international sixth form and head of boarding. He is now at Stanbridge Earls, a special needs provision school, where he relishes the academic and pastoral environment that focuses on the individual needs of children which allows them to gain confidence and achieve success. For relaxation? He surfs wherever he can find a wave.
Jim Hawkins has been Head Master of Harrow since September 2011. Immediately prior to that he was Head Master of Norwich School for nine years. He has also worked at Radley College, Forest School and Chigwell School. He began his career in education as a mathematics teacher and coach of rugby and rowing – his main sports. His other interests include films, music, cafés and crosswords. For reasons that he no longer fully understands, he follows Leeds United Football Club. His wife, Zoe, is an artist and they have an eight year old daughter.
Gemma’s career started as a graduate recruit at Saatchi & Saatchi London and has 14 years experience within the advertising/branding industry. Advertising for TV, radio, press and new media as well as branding strategy are core skills. After returning to Edinburgh to work at 1576 Advertising, Fettes College became one of her clients and after 3 years on the account the role of Director of Marketing & PR was created for her at Fettes. The role at Fettes includes all elements of worldwide promotion; advertising, prospectuses, new media, relationship marketing. She is also a member of the Fettes Senior Management Team.