He will take over in September, replacing Nick Higham, who will leave in July after a decade in the role.
Mark joins St Martin’s Ampleforth from Alleyn’s Junior School, where he has been Headmaster since 2003. Alleyn’s Junior School is currently ranked as the top co-ed Prep school in London and the South East by both The Times and The Telegraph league tables, and was rated as “excellent” and “exceptional” in its latest ISI report.
In addition to his experience of running a successful co-ed Prep school that acts as a link to a senior school, Mark will draw on experience gained through a successful career spent entirely at Prep schools. Prior to Alleyn’s he spent 15 years at Sydney Grammar School, Australia’s top selective boys’ school, and also served as Deputy Head of Thorpe House School in Buckinghamshire.
An expert in teaching and learning theory, Mark has a Masters of Education from Harvard University and a Post Graduate Diploma in Education from the University of Oxford. His appointment comes less than a fortnight after David Lambon was announced as the first lay Head of Ampleforth College. When they start in the summer, both Mark and David will be charged with ensuring pupils from the age of three to 18 have a seamless, rounded education nurtured by Ampleforth’s Benedictine ethos.
Abbot Cuthbert Madden, the Chair of Governors, said:
In Mark we have found an exceptional teacher and leader who will inspire both pupils and parents – be they from Yorkshire or overseas. He will help the children of St Martin’s Ampleforth develop lively, independent minds and a spiritual awareness that begins at the school and sustains their later lives.
Ampleforth is one of the world’s great Catholic schools and it will be a privilege to contribute to the work of a forward-looking Benedictine Abbey and thriving educational institution.
St Martin’s Ampleforth has a strong ethos of providing an education for the whole person. Working closely with David, I’m looking forward to helping all our pupils flourish not only academically, but as children and individuals.
An Australian, Mark attended Stonyhurst College, Lancashire, before finishing his schooling at St Ignatius College, Sydney. Married with three sons, he is a Fellow of the Royal College of Arts (FRCA), a Duke of Edinburgh assessor, and the organiser of the Independent Associated Prep Schools’ National Ski Championships.
Moving from south London to one of North Yorkshire’s Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty will give the family (and their gun-dog Fitz) ample opportunity to indulge their love of the great outdoors.
The monastic community and the Trustees of the St Laurence Education Trust were assisted in the recruitment process by executive search and assessment firm Saxton Bampfylde.