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Toby Spence appointed as new head of Sibford School

Published by Sibford School on Thursday 14th of January 2016

Toby Spence has been appointed as the new Head of Sibford School near Banbury. He will succeed Michael Goodwin, who is retiring after being Head of the Quaker school since 2004.   Toby, who will be only the 12th head in Sibford’s 174-year history, will take up his appointment at the start of the new academic year in September. He is currently Head of a leading 2-18 co-educational, British Curriculum, international day and boarding school in Kenya.   “I am greatly looking forward to moving back to the United Kingdom and taking over as Head of Sibford School,” he said. “Sibford is a unique place to live and learn and I am looking forward to working with the school community over the coming months and years and to leading the school in the next exciting phase of its history.”   Seren Wildwood, chair of School Committee, Sibford’s governing body, added: “We had a very strong field of candidates for this post but believe that Toby is the perfect person to take over the headship here at Sibford. We look forward to working with him and know he has some exciting plans for the future.”   Born in Newcastle upon Tyne, Toby was brought up as a Quaker. He attended The King’s School in Tynemouth and went on to study History and Physical Education at Sheffield University before beginning his teaching career in 1992.   He spent five years as Head of History at Bootham School, a Quaker school in York, and in 2007 was appointed Director of Learning at Yarm School in Stockton-on-Tees. In 2011, 24 years after leaving its Sixth Form, Toby returned to his old school, King’s, as Deputy Head. He began his headship in Kenya in 2013.   Toby is married to Jill and the couple have three young children who are all excited about moving to join the Sibford community.   Away from work, Toby is a great outdoor enthusiast and enjoys combining this with a love of travel … a passion that has led him to paddling a sea-kayak with killer whales off Vancouver Island, making a number of first-ascents of mountains in South America and sailing Tall Ships around the coast of Australia. More recently he has also taken up mountain triathlons which he enjoys more for the views than the physical exertion!   Toby said: “To quote Quaker Advices & Queries 27, I am a firm believer in ‘living one’s life adventurously’ and I see the central themes of a Quaker education as more relevant than ever today.” Commenting on Toby’s appointment, Michael Goodwin thanked his governors for the thoroughness of the selection process and for the wisdom of their choice. “I see in Toby Spence the kind of personal qualities and values that will fit so well with Sibford School’s ethos. Toby Spence clearly has the right kind of educational and leadership experience; I am delighted that he has accepted the post and am confident that he will uphold and develop all that is important to us at Sibford School” Pictured: Toby Spence with Michael Goodwin. Toby and Jill Spence.
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