First female High Master in a School’s 150 year history

In 2019, Saxton Bampfylde worked with St Paul’s School, an exceptional single sex independent day school, attractively located in Hammersmith, London, educating around 950 pupils to appoint their next High Master.

Following the announcement that Mark Bailey would retire in 2020, we were briefed to find a successor who would build on the school’s longstanding reputation for academic excellence as well as initiate closer collaboration across the senior and junior schools, with St Paul’s Girls’ School and within the wider community, through meaningful partnerships.

The leading consultants on the project made targeted, personal telephone calls to potential candidates allowing them the opportunity to fully explore the role before making an application. Experience of Headship at a school of comparable scale with strong academic results was seen as highly valuable, as well as experience of working closely with an attached junior school. Candidates would also demonstrate an understanding of the ethos that runs throughout the school and the importance of the John Colet’s founding commitment that St Paul’s is open to all academically eligible boys, regardless of their economic or social circumstance. Other synergies with St Paul’s were tested throughout our conversations, such as any prior experience or understanding of the Pre-U and experience in selective schools. During the course of the search, we spoke to around 100 targeted individuals and presented a number of credible candidates from a range of backgrounds.

Sally-Ann Huang, who had previously been Head of James Allen’s Girls’ School, was the final successful candidate and took up the role as the School’s first female High Master in 2020.




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