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Hockerill Anglo-European College head Richard Markham to leave





Winchester Lawn at Hockerill Anglo-European College (11873786)
Winchester Lawn at Hockerill Anglo-European College (11873786)

The principal of Hockerill Anglo-European College in Bishop's Stortford – one of the top-ranked state schools in the land – is to leave at the end of the summer term.

Richard Markham, who has led the international day and boarding secondary in Dunmow Road since September 2013, is moving on in early July "for personal and family reasons", parents were told in an email on Thursday afternoon (June 6).

Vice principals Alasdair Mackenzie and Sarah Pearson will take charge jointly in "a short interregnum" while the governors work on a recruitment plan.

Mr Markham, a graduate of Oxford University, was a hockey coach and taught history at independent day and boarding school Marlborough College in Wiltshire before being appointed principal at Hockerill.

At the start of his headship he was the subject of national media interest when Pippa Middleton – an Old Marlburian like her sister, the Duchess of Cambridge – declared she had a schoolgirl crush on him.

A letter from joint chair of governors Rachel Lawson and Judith Braeckman said that under Mr Markham's tenure, the school, which has around 850 pupils aged 11 to 18, had "charted a positive course" through a period of tremendous change for education nationally.

Last year, the Sunday Times Schools Guide 2018 ranked Hockerill top of all comprehensive and partially selective state schools

They spoke of his "passion for education and love of teaching, whose professional public presence and networking with local schools, has resulted in a highly positive view of our College in the local community and amongst parents and students alike".

They added: "During this time, the College has maintained its reputation for outstanding teaching and has had consistently excellent examination results."

Mr Markham, who represented Wales at hockey at the 1998 Commonwealth Games in Malaysia, plays for Bishop's Stortford Hockey Club's first XI.

Mr Mackenzie, who has responsibility for the pastoral side of life at Hockerill, completed his National Professional Qualification for Headship in May 2018. Ms Pearson, who oversees the curriculum and joined the College recently, was previously principal of a leading international school for children aged 3-18 in London.

The joint chair of governors signed off: "We wish Richard well in the next step of his career and we thank our Vice Principals for their commitment and support in the intervening period. Hockerill is a very, very special place and we will work on a recruitment plan to engage our next Principal in a timely, thoughtful and professional manner."

The College opened in 1980 as Hockerill School and eight years later became Hockerill Anglo-European College. It became an academy in 2011. About a third of its students are boarders. Pupils take GCSEs but in the sixth form students take the International Baccalaureate (IB) instead of A-Levels.



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