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Gresham''s to get new head

PUBLISHED: 13:57 09 January 2008 | UPDATED: 12:35 20 May 2010

Philip John

Philip John

GRESHAM'S, one of the region's leading independent schools, will have a new headmaster at the end of this academic year.

Philip John will take on the top job in September from the current headmaster Antony Clark, who handed in his notice towards the end of last year ahead of a move to the headship of Malvern College in Worcestershire and will remain in post until his successor takes over.

GRESHAM'S, one of the region's leading independent schools, will have a new headmaster at the end of this academic year.

Philip John will take on the top job in September from the current headmaster Antony Clark, who handed in his notice towards the end of last year ahead of a move to the headship of Malvern College in Worcestershire and will remain in post until his successor takes over.

Mr John will join the school from King William's College and the Buchan Preparatory School on the Isle of Man, where he has been principal for the past eight years. Prior to this he taught maths at Rugby School and Malvern College, and was a housemaster at the latter for five years.

The 52-year-old said yesterday that he, his wife Kathy and their four children were “very excited” about the appointment and the prospect of moving to Norfolk.

Mr John added that he believed his successful tenure at King William's College made him sympathetic to many of the challenges faced by Gresham's.

“In particular, my achievements with curriculum development and my in-depth working knowledge of the International Baccalaureate Diploma will ensure that Gresham's continues its impressive progress.”

Anthony Duckworth-Chad, Gresham's chairman of governors, said he was delighted by Mr John's appointment: “He ticked all the right boxes at interview and the governors felt he was exactly the person we needed at Gresham's to build on and continue the excellent work done by Antony Clark over the last five and a half years.

“His knowledge of the International Baccalaureate Diploma which was introduced at Gresham's alongside A-levels in September, his experience as a headmaster and love of sports, music and art will blend in well with the ethos of the school.

“We look forward to welcoming Philip and his family to Gresham's at the start of the next academic year.”

Mr Clark said last night: “I have had a wonderful time here at Gresham's and have thoroughly enjoyed what will be six years by the time I leave.

“But with my age and stage of career in mind, when the Malvern opportunity came up I felt it was an appropriate move for me.

“These days heads tend to do shorter stints than perhaps they did in the past and I know that the timing is right.

“I will be extremely sad to leave what is a wonderful school.”

Mr Clark will step into the shoes of acting head Sarah Welch, who has filled the role since the dramatic and largely unexplained departure of David Dowdles, who took on the headmaster's job at Malvern in September 2006 but left in May 2007 quoting only “personal reasons”.

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