Headteacher to leave Sidmouth school after 11 years

PUBLISHED: 13:25 24 September 2019 | UPDATED: 17:19 24 September 2019

St John's School headteacher Mike Burgess with deputy Caroline Ward.  Ref shs 7908-49-15SH. Picture: Simon Horn

St John's School headteacher Mike Burgess with deputy Caroline Ward. Ref shs 7908-49-15SH. Picture: Simon Horn


The headteacher of a Sidmouth boarding school will step down to pursue a career abroad.

In a letter to parents, Caroline Ward said she would be leaving her role at the end of term, bringing an end to 11 years at St John's School, in Broadway.

She said the decision to leave the school, which is owned by International Education System (IES), was 'not easy'.

Mrs Ward said: "After 11 years at St John's, I am moving with my family to fulfil a career goal of working abroad.

"I love St John's, Sidmouth and Devon, but want to practise what I preach - to experience the benefits of full immersion of a second language, being a risk taker and a truly global citizen.

"I am grateful for the opportunities that IES has offered me and I will continue to maintain strong links with the school and IES in my new role overseas."

The news of Mrs Ward's resignation comes months after a number of other staff members left their roles with the school.

Deputy head Andi Davies left to take a leadership role at a primary school.

Head of science Marion Van Der Giezen relocated to Norway, PE teacher Charlotte Slade left to be part of a comprehensive school and Hannah Rice accepted a role where she can focus on French teaching.

In a letter to parents earlier this year, Mrs Ward said: "Inevitably, the end of the academic year brings staff changes and we will be saying goodbye to several members of our school family."

She said there are 22 new starters at St John's this term not including visiting pupils from its sister schools.

Mrs Ward added: "We have always embraced out international links - it is one of the many truly unique aspects of St John's.

"We are proud to be part of a global school partnership which is made up of 26 schools across three continents.

"Our pupils benefit from our International visitors both in global outlook and cultural acceptance.

"We have a newly refurbished boarding house the boarding can accommodate up to 60 pupils in style.

"We encourage our international pupils to experience Sidmouth and St John's - which I believe boosts the local community and Sidmouth economy."

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