Magdalen College School appoints its first female master since 1480

BBC News, 12.12.15, one of Britain's leading independent schools has appointed the first female head teacher in its 535-year history. HMC member Helen Pike, currently head of South Hampstead High School, will become "master" of Magdalen College School, Oxford - the first woman in the post since the school was founded in 1480 - she will succeed former HMC Chairman Dr Tim Hands who will be leaving the school to become headmaster at Winchester College next year.

She called it "an honour to be invited to lead this remarkable school".

Ms Pike, who will start the post in September, was named as one of the "ten heads to watch" by the Good Schools Guide in June 2014.

She will leave her job as the head of South Hampstead High School in London and succeed Tim Hands, who is leaving Magdalen to become headmaster at Winchester College.

The school's chairman Tim Edwards said: "We are fortunate to have appointed such an outstanding candidate.

"Helen joins us with a wealth of experience from many prestigious schools, and we look forward to her further enhancing Magdalen's position as one of the leading academic schools in the


Ms Pike grew up in Preston, Lancashire and studied modern history at Christ Church, Oxford, before studying modern European history at the University of Michigan.

Magdalen, founded by William Waynflete as part of Oxford University's Magdalen College, is an independent school for boys between seven and 18 and girls in the sixth form.

Approximately a third of the upper sixth gain offers for Oxford and Cambridge, and almost all pupils go on to prestigious universities in the UK and abroad.

Famous Magdalen College School alumni include film director Sam Mendes and actor and composer Ivor Novello.

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