New Era for Ipswich High School

Ipswich High School | 14 Sep 2017
Ipswich High School for Girls is to become known simply as Ipswich High School, as it moves forward into an exciting era. Owned for many years by the Girls’ Day School Trust (GDST), it is set to transfer to the ownership of Ipswich Education Ltd.
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Photo: Oona Carlin, Head of Ipswich High School

Ipswich High School for Girls is to become known simply as Ipswich High School, as it moves forward into an exciting era.

Owned for many years by the Girls’ Day School Trust (GDST), Ipswich High School is set to transfer to the ownership of Ipswich Education Ltd, led by London & Oxford Group.

The school will continue to be led by the Head, Ms Oona Carlin, together with her highly experienced management team. Also remaining in place and helping guide the new era will be the school’s existing board of governors, chaired by Mr John Pickering.

The new ownership paves the way for Ipswich High School to reconsider its educational offering. The leadership team is therefore pleased to announce the intention to move gradually toward a Diamond Model of education, enabling boys to join the school in certain year groups.

At the same time, families will soon be able to consider a residential option at the prestigious school, as the new phase will incorporate the addition of a state-of-the-art boarding facility.

Head, Ms Oona Carlin, is committed to extending the co-educational element to families in the region, and to have boarding become a further asset for pupils at Ipswich High School.

“The school’s leadership team, together with the board of governors and myself, are extremely confident about the proposed new era we are announcing today, and are very excited by what it represents for existing and future pupils,” she said.

Ms Carlin emphasised that all changes will be incorporated gradually, sympathetically, and with a great deal of consultation and consideration.

She added: “I recognise, as do all of my leadership team, that this news will come as a surprise to parents, pupils, and our wider community, so we are absolutely committed to ensuring that we move forward gradually and with sensitivity.

“Our absolute priority is continuity for our existing girls. We are, therefore, doing everything possible to introduce this next chapter with a dedication to continuity and with strong communication between ourselves and those who are currently committed to the school.

“The diamond model is much acclaimed and we feel very strongly that this is a great opportunity for our pupils, for their learning and development, and for the potential it grants us in terms of ongoing investment in our teaching, our facilities, and our wider learning and social environment.”

The diamond model proposed will be phased in over the coming years, with boys being introduced in 2018 for some years including Woodland Pre-Prep, through to Year 6 and then in Year 12.

Exploration into boarding facilities, and other required developments at the School’s site, will be carried out in the coming months.

Cheryl Giovannoni, Chief Executive of the GDST, said: “The decision to transfer Ipswich High School to Ipswich Education has been taken in the long-term best interests of the school and students. We have undertaken a rigorous process in making this decision and are confident Ipswich Education will continue to provide a seamless first-class education experience for girls already studying at Ipswich High School, and that their approach will build on the school’s traditions and values. The GDST will do everything possible to support the transition to Ipswich Education.”

Paul Newton, Chairman of Ipswich Education Ltd, said: “Ipswich High School is a wonderful school, in a stunning setting, with an outstanding track record. We are determined to preserve the history, culture and values of the school. We look forward to working very closely with Oona Carlin and her team.”

John Pickering, Chair of Ipswich High School’s Board of Governors, added: “The Board of Governors is extremely confident about the future of Ipswich High School under the new ownership and we are very excited about what this represents for new and existing pupils. We are delighted that Ipswich Education will be making substantial investments in the school.”

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