New Head Appointed
The Governors are delighted to announce the appointment of Mrs Sarah Atkinson as Head of RGS Dodderhill with effect from 1 September 2019, following the retirement of Mrs Cate Mawston after over eight years of outstanding service. Mrs Atkinson is currently the Deputy Head Academic at RGS The Grange and was chosen from a strong field of candidates from across the four RGS schools.
Mrs Atkinson herself attended North London Collegiate School, an all-girls school, and has taught at a number of schools in the independent sector. As a member of the Senior Leadership Team at RGS The Grange, she is in charge of all Academic aspects of the School, deputises for the Head and is the line manager for members of the Senior Management Team and for Heads of Department and was previously Head of Pre-Prep at the School.
Sarah Atkinson said, “I am delighted to be appointed Head of RGS Dodderhill and to have the honour of leading such a wonderful school. During my visit, I was particularly impressed by the commitment of the pupils to their school and the dedication of staff, as well as the excellent facilities. I look forward to working with the whole school community and making sure that everyone knows what a fantastic girls’ school we have in Droitwich.”
Sarah has four children, three of whom attended or currently attend RGS Worcester including daughters in Year Eleven and in Year Nine. She enjoys walking, especially with her children and dogs and tries to swim and run regularly. Sarah has played Netball, Tennis and Rowing in the past and now enjoys reading, gardening, travel and cookery when time allows.
Mr Quentin Poole, Chair of Governors, said, “We are delighted that Sarah has accepted the position as the new Head of Dodderhill. We had a strong field and all of the governors involved in the interview and selection process, including from Dodderhill, felt that Sarah has all the qualities expected of a leader and has already demonstrated her ability to take charge, communicate well with all members of the community and recruit new pupils in her current role. This is an exciting next step for RGS Dodderhill and there will be plenty of opportunity during the summer term for Sarah to get to know the pupils, staff, parents and alumnae and then lead the School forward when she becomes Head in September”.
Dodderhill and RGS Worcester have been friendly neighbours for many years and already collaborate in areas such as music, art, dance, textiles and digital learning. Each year many girls from Dodderhill Independent Girls progress to the outstanding Sixth Form at RGS Worcester and achieve excellent results.
Mr Quentin Poole, said: “We look forward to getting to know the Dodderhill community and offering the girls, their parents and staff, the security, stability and opportunities of being a valued member of our group of schools. Our partnership will retain all that makes Dodderhill unique, impressive and appealing as a highly attractive school providing an excellent all-round education for girls in Droitwich and the wider region.”
The Headmaster of RGS Worcester Mr John Pitt adds: “This is a unique opportunity for Dodderhill and RGS to work together and I am excited about what the future holds for our community of more than 1,400 pupils across four schools. Both schools are known as centres of excellence and girls from Dodderhill already join our co-educational Sixth Form of around 200 students and achieve exceptional results. There will be new opportunities to enhance our already strong links. For example, we envisage some joint staff insets and training, sharing of best practice, an extension of our bus network, and combined concerts at Worcester Cathedral.”
The current Headmistress of Dodderhill, Mrs Cate Mawston, said: “We are delighted to join the RGS Worcester family of schools – this is a natural development in our successful relationship. This partnership will enable us to continue to build on our strengths as a small school, by sharing the expertise and facilities of a larger school. For example, our girls can use the full-size all-weather sports pitches, hold events at the brand new RGS Worcester Performing Arts Centre, take part in joint musical productions and tours and benefit from an award-winning careers programme.”
Mrs Mawston will have day-to-day responsibility for the running of Dodderhill and will become a member of the RGS Worcester Strategy Group until September 2019 when Mrs Sarah Atkinson will take responsibility. Following the merger, the RGS Worcester family of schools will continue to operate with a unitary governance structure, and the Board, chaired by Mr Quentin Poole, will welcome some of the current Dodderhill governors in order to provide continuity.
Mrs Mawston concludes: “This new partnership between Dodderhill and RGS Worcester will enable more girls to achieve their full potential and become confident, outstanding young women who can aim high, fully equipped for the opportunities of the 21st century.”