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A Letter from the Chairman of Governors

Dear Old Sedberghians

I write to inform you of some significant changes to the senior management structure of the School.

In 2010, Sedbergh School had 408 pupils, there were 83 pupils in Sedbergh Junior School and the programme of summer sports courses was in its infancy.  In September this year, Sedbergh School will have 550 pupils, Casterton Sedbergh Prep School will start its sixth year with 190 pupils and in China, Rong Qiao Sedbergh School will welcome its first pupils.  1,000 children will participate in sports, arts and language courses at Sedbergh during the holidays.  Recent GCSE and A Level exam results have been very good, the School has never performed better on the sports field or on the stage and the Hirst Centre will open in June.  We are all delighted that the School is flourishing.

Over the past six months, the Board of Governors have considered how to maintain the educational and financial strength of the School, especially in the event of difficult political or adverse economic climates.  We believe the key to future success is to continue to enhance the education we offer and increase income streams from sources other than School Fees.  This means we will seek to increase our presence overseas and increase our other commercial activities.

The growth in size of the Sedbergh Schools and the ambition to develop additional projects has meant that the Board have decided that Andrew Fleck should take on a new role, as Principal.  He will hold overall responsibility for the performance of the Senior and Prep Schools, School representation overseas, strategic development and marketing.  He will have fewer day-to-day operational responsibilities, which will allow him to spend more time to develop future strategy whilst retaining direct contact with pupils and parents in the Prep and Senior Schools.

Dan Harrison has been Deputy Head (Academic) since 2012 and Second Master since 2014.  On 10 March 2018, he presented proposals to the full Board, on the future of Sedbergh School and was then interviewed by a panel of five Governors, Chaired by me.  The unanimous decision of the Board and panel was that from September 2018, Dan Harrison will become Headmaster of Sedbergh School, reporting to Andrew Fleck.  He will be responsible for all educational operations including teaching, pastoral care, administration, safeguarding compliance and other regulations.  He will be supported by the existing Management Team who will be joined by Tom Bennett as Director of Studies.  Tom studied Geography at Cambridge and joins Sedbergh from Wycombe Abbey School.  His remit will be to further develop the academic performance of the School with a strong focus on the use of technology.

During the same period, the Board has been discussing with Andrew and Peter Marshall how the non-teaching operations of the School may be enhanced to provide for the development of the organisation.  The outcome is that Peter Marshall will become Chief Operating Officer and Bursar, responsible for developing the commercial work of the School whilst retaining management responsibility for School finance.  Toby Lehmann will become Deputy Bursar, taking over responsibility for catering, cleaning, estate maintenance and IT systems.

An organisational chart can be downloaded here. 

The Board have made these changes after very careful consideration.  We foresee them as essential developments to ensure the School will continue to provide an outstanding education without losing its identity.

We are deeply appreciative of your support for Sedbergh without which the School could not flourish and hope you will endorse these developments.  At the same time, we recognise that this is a significant change and that some parents may wish to discuss the reorganisation.  The Headmaster will write about other staff changes in a separate letter, as is usually the case at the start of the Summer Term.

Should you wish to do so, Andrew Fleck and I will be available to meet any parents who wish to discuss these changes in an open meeting on Saturday 28 April, in Queen’s Hall at 3.00pm.

With best wishes.

Yours sincerely

Hugh Blair
Chairman of Governors