September 2015 saw Mrs Sarah Kerr-Dineen MA Cantab take up the position as the new Head of Oundle School following the recent retirement of Mr Charles Bush.
Educated at Steyning Grammar School, West Sussex, Mrs Kerr-Dineen went on to gain an MA in English at Trinity College, Cambridge and to pursue graduate study at Christ Church, Oxford. Her teaching career spans over twenty years, including thirteen at St Edward’s, Oxford where she was also a Boarding Housemistress and ultimately Director of Studies. For the past six years, Mrs Kerr-Dineen has been Warden of Forest School, a co-educational 4 – 18 HMC school in London. Mrs Kerr-Dineen is married with four children aged between 19 and 27 and her interests include reading, walking, the theatre and music.
Mrs Kerr-Dineen commented, “Oundle is a great school with a long and distinguished history. It values individuals and seeks to provide for its pupils an education that will guide them for life. It promotes aspiration, ambition and innovation at the same time as the healthy development of decent young people. These are impressive characteristics on which to build and I look forward keenly to what is to come.”
The School is currently embarking on a large SciTec Campus development project which will see a new Mathematics department constructed adjacent to SciTec as well as a significant upgrade to the Design and Technology department within the Patrick Engineering Centre. Work is well underway and due for completion in September 2016, the development will unite Science, Mathematics, Design, Technology and Engineering both physically and philosophically, enabling pupils to move seamlessly from theory to practice and from pure science to the achievement of a workable technology. A concurrent Sports MasterPlan will upgrade sporting facilities across the School over the next few years.
Mr Julian Tregoning, Chairman of the Oundle School Governing Body, said, “We have appointed an outstanding leader in Sarah Kerr-Dineen and are delighted to welcome her to Oundle. Sarah has a proven track record of achievement as a Head as well as a depth of understanding and experience of boarding. She truly identifies with Oundle School’s ethos and heritage and is especially well qualified to lead the School into the future.”
Background Information on Oundle School
Oundle School is situated in the quintessentially English market town of Oundle, about 90 miles north of London. The School’s buildings, dating from the 17th to the 21st centuries, are dispersed throughout the town, which is, to a large extent, its campus.
The School’s history dates back to 1556, when Sir William Laxton, Master of the Worshipful Company of Grocers and Lord Mayor of London, endowed and re-founded the original Oundle Grammar School, of which he was a former pupil. In 1876, the Grocer’s Company divided the School into two parts; Laxton Grammar School, primarily for the inhabitants of the town, and Oundle School, primarily for pupils from further afield. In 2000, the Grocers’ Company reunited the two schools under the common name of Oundle School and retained the name of Laxton for the day House.
At the beginning of the 20th century, Oundle was put firmly on the map of leading English public schools by its most famous headmaster, F W Sanderson, who established Oundle’s reputation as one of the great science and engineering schools, a reputation still renowned today. In 2007, SciTec - a major and ground-breaking new science complex - opened, housing 16 state-of-the-art laboratories.
There are currently 1110 pupils on roll at Oundle School, with 860 boarders and 250 day pupils. Also within the Corporation of Oundle School is Laxton Junior School, a day School for children aged 4 to 11.