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Farewell to Chief Master John Claughton

07 July 2016

After a decade as Chief Master of King Edward’s School, John Claughton will retire in August 2016. During John’s leadership of the School, there have been major developments in all aspects of school life. 

Through the recently completed AP100 Campaign, over £10m has been raised from alumni, parents, and other supporters for Assisted Places, doubling the number of Assisted Places available and making King Edward’s School one of the most accessible independent schools in the country. Also through the support of the alumni and the Foundation, building developments have included an £11m performing arts centre, a £5m science and modern languages centre and a £2.5m hockey pavilion and astro pitch.

In 2010 A-levels were abandoned in favour of the International Baccalaureate Diploma for all Sixth Form pupils. As well as re-invigorating the intellectual life of the School, this courageous change has brought great success in exam results (the top independent boys’ school north of Oxford) and in awards: ‘The Sunday Times International Baccalaureate School of the Year 2015-16’ and the ‘IB Boys’ School of the Year 2015’.

The Outreach Programme has grown at a fantastic rate, from only a dozen schools five years ago, to over 200 today, engaging with over 11,000 children within the local community each year. King Edward’s now has the biggest and most highly regarded Outreach Programme in the independent sector, for which it won the TES ‘Best independent-maintained school collaboration’ last year. 

John Claughton portrait

In recognition of John’s achievements as Chief Master, John was presented with a medal at Speech Day by Tim Clarke, Chairman of the Governors. John’s portrait was also unveiled at Speech Day and now hangs in Big School, alongside the School’s previous Chief Masters. Painted by Birmingham artist Jane Rosier, who is also a former parent, the contemporary style portrait captures both the history of the School and new developments, featuring the Chapel and the Ruddock Performing Arts Centre, and embodies the impact John has had on the School.

Even the Sixth Form prank on the last day of term paid homage to John’s impact on the School, in particular the switch from A-levels to the IB Diploma. The School was decorated with banners, posters and balloons praising the ‘Claughton revolution’. During final assembly the School Captain, Joshua Kimblin, presented John with a 16th century sword, similar to the one the School’s founder, King Edward VI, would have possessed. 

John is leaving a remarkable legacy, the positive effects of which will be felt by the School, the local community and the education sector for the foreseeable future.

John Claughton receives medal