Dear Parents / Guardians,

It is indicative of the amount that goes on at school that I can no longer fit a final assembly round-up of the term into the final assembly itself, so I need to produce two versions these days: one which you can read here, and the other which can fit into 40 minutes in the Great Hall. Even then it is a squeeze. I do hope that you receive a tired, but exhilarated, son back at the end of this week! 

In various other bits of news, pride of place must go to Professor Stephen Mayson, the Chairman of Governors. After eight years as Chairman, and 14 years as a Governor, Professor Mayson has decided to step down to allow for a smooth takeover just a term or two before his own full term. We expect his successor to be announced in June. We will have an opportunity to say a proper thank you to him in the summer, but needless to say Professor Mayson has been a magnificent supporter of Bedford School and the Harpur Trust for a very long time. He embodies (to his own core) the core values of the school and we are greatly indebted to him for his work on all of our behalf. 

As is usual at this time of year, I write with a few staff updates for 2018. This year there will be very few staff leaving, but there are several extremely significant departures. I have mentioned one or two in previous letters, but more recent announcements are as follows:

Mr Malcolm Green has decided that this will be his final year at Bedford School. Mr Green has had a remarkable career here over 37 years as, amongst many other things, teacher, tutor and Housemaster.  He has been Head of Woodwind for the last 32 of these.

Reverend Shaun Atkins, our Chaplain, after nine years of excellent service to the school community, has decided to retire at the end of this academic year.  

Mr Michael Herring (OB) will leave us in the summer to take up a post teaching history at Merchant Taylor’s School in Northwood. Mr Herring has been at Bedford School for six years.

To balance things, of course, we have made a few recent appointments:

Mr James Marriott will be the new Housemaster of Redburn House from September 2018, when Mr Chris Bury stands down after nine years in post. Mr Marriott took a first class degree in geography from Nottingham University before teaching at Trent College, where he was an Assistant Boarding Housemaster, a Day Housemaster and Head of Year. For the past four years, he has been a Boarding Housemaster at New Hall School. He is keen on all sports, especially rugby, hockey, cricket and golf. We look forward to welcoming him, his wife, Vicky (herself an ex- Boarding Housemistress and current Head of Geography at New Hall School) and their two year old daughter in the new academic year.

Miss Lauren Owens will take over from Mr Fraser Elliott in the maths department from September. Lauren has a 2:1 in music from the University of York and a first in maths from Queen’s, Belfast. She taught at Bedford School from 2012 to 2016, before leaving for Kings College School, Wimbledon, throughout which time she has also been a lynchpin of the rowing clubs. We look forward to having her back with us.

Mr Henry Vann (OB) will join the history and politics department from September 2018. Mr Vann took a 2:1 in philosophy from Cambridge University before embarking upon a career in the political world. He is currently Head of External Affairs at the Incorporated Society of Musicians in London, a local authority councillor and cabinet member for education for Bedford Borough Council. He is a Fellow of the British American Project, a global network of thought leaders, UK and US politicians, and an accomplished instrumental musician, singer and director in his own right. We look forward to welcoming him back to Bedford School, too!

Finally, I wish you all a happy and productive Easter, not least for those preparing for summer exams. 

With kind regards indeed,





James Hodgson
Head Master

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