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New headteacher at Sibford school

Sibford School Head Toby Spence
Sibford School Head Toby Spence

Sibford School’s new headteacher Toby Spence spoke to the Herald this week about his appointment and his aspirations for the school.

Mr Spence, 47, took over from the Sibford’s former head Michael Goodwin this month following his 12 years at the helm of the Quaker school.

Mr Spence, who began teaching in 1992, spent five years as Head of History at the Quaker Bootham School in York, and in 2007 was appointed director of learning at Yarm School in Stockton-on-Tees.

In 2011 he was appointed deputy head at King’s School in Tynemouth, before embarking on his first headship at an international day and boarding school in Kenya.

Mr Spence said: “I have received a very warm welcome since starting at Sibford. My first impression of the school was its strong Quaker ethos, which is something that is very important to me.

“I want to maintain Sibford as an outstanding Quaker school for the 21 Century, preserving that strong ethos. Sibford has always been a progressive school and next year we will be celebrating our 175 anniversary. 2017 will be a big year for the school.”

Mr Spence, an avid fell walker, canoeist and mountaineer, said he is a great supporter of outdoor learning and would like to strengthen and develop that at Sibford.

He said: “I think we have a very balanced curriculum at Sibford which is strong across a broad range of subjects.

“Of course the school will face challenges, but most of these are external challenges, how we respond to new government guidelines on national examinations for example. What I can say is we will strive to keep ahead of the game in all areas.

“I’m really looking forward to my time here, the challenges of being headteacher here are different to my last role in Kenya, we had 26 different nationalities there and had to worry about snakes and monkeys outside.

“Sibford School is a very special place and I’m looking forward to welcoming members of the community in to see what we do here.”

Toby is married to his wife Jill and the couple have three young children, all of whom attend the school.

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