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Bishop's Stortford College appoints first female head in its 150-year history

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General Views - File Shots.Bishops Stortford.Bishops Stortford College. (11791717)
General Views - File Shots.Bishops Stortford.Bishops Stortford College. (11791717)

Bishop's Stortford College has announced the appointment of a woman as headteacher for the first time in its 150-year history.

Pure maths graduate Kathy Crewe-Read will be only the 10th head since the school, which has 1,173 pupils aged 4 to 18, was founded as the Nonconformist Grammar School in 1868. She will take up the post on September 1, 2020.

She will join the Maze Green Road co-educational independent day and boarding school from the award-winning Wolverhampton Grammar School (WGS) in the West Midlands, where she has been head for six years.

She succeeds Jeremy Gladwin, who earlier this year announced his retirement as College headmaster. He started his headship in 2011 and is the shortest-serving head in BSC's history.

Kathy said: "I first visited this school some 20 years ago and it left a lasting impression with me. Bishop’s Stortford College is brilliantly placed to prepare our children to live well in their future world and I want to help as many families as possible realise that ambition by becoming part of this extraordinary community."

She has enjoyed a successful career in education, teaching at a number of independent schools. It was at WGS, a co-ed day school, that she built and led her staff to excellence, earning the title of 2018 Senior Leadership Team of the Year in the TES Independent Schools Awards.

Kathy is also an inspector with the Independent Schools’ Inspectorate (ISI), chair of the West Group of HMC – the Headmasters' and Headmistresses' Conference, the UK organisation of independent schools – a governor at the Merchant Taylors’ Schools and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.

She has been reported widely in the national media, representing the sector on issues including the role of digital technology in education and the public benefit of independent schools.

Her interests include road cycling, hill walking and gardening.

The new head was appointed from an "exceptionally strong" field of candidates following a "rigorous selection process".

Guy Baker, chair of BSC's governing council, said: “We were extremely impressed with Kathy’s ambition to deliver a strategy that would benefit the whole College and, most importantly, each and every pupil.

"Based on her significant achievements at Wolverhampton Grammar School, we found her incredibly compelling as a candidate for the role of head, which inspired great confidence in what most people will recognise as a critical decision for the College. We are really delighted with the appointment and very much look forward to working with Kathy.”

Bishop’s Stortford College's 1,173 children – 966 day students and 207 full- and part-time boarders – are spread across three schools: pre-prep (aged 4-7), prep (7-13) and senior school (13-18). There are 248 students in the sixth form.

The school is one of the UK’s top 20 performing independent co-eds and consistently ranks among the top 100 independents in the country. In its March 2017 ISI inspection it was adjudged ‘excellent’ in all four sections – the highest accolade achievable.

The College is a founding member of the Bishop’s Stortford Educational Trust.

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