School appoints first female head in 900-year history

The Prebendal School, in Chichester, has appointed the first female headteacher of its 900-year history.


Louise Salmond Smith will take up her new post at the West Street school in September.

Mrs Salmond Smith, who is head of junior school at Tormead School, Guildford, will take over the headship from Tim Cannell, who is retiring after 12 years at The Prebendal.

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Describing herself as “delighted”with her new role, she said: “The school has an excellent reputation both locally and nationally, and I will very much enjoy building on Tim Cannell’s many achievements.

“A choir school falls in line so naturally with my own educational ethos, my passion for music, and my belief that if you have high expectations of children then they will take the opportunity to rise to them.”

However, The Prebendal is not just a choir school, it’s an excellent school in its own right.

“When our pupils become young adults, they will find the world a much easier place in which to live if they have developed emotional resilience within the secure environment such as one at The Prebendal School.

“Children should not just be focusing on getting the answers right – they should be thinking up the questions, and then thinking up some more!”

The Very Reverend Stephen Waine, who is Dean of Chichester Cathedral and chair of governors at The Prebendal School, said: “Mrs Salmond Smith comes to us with a proven record of successful teaching, and thoughtful and inspirational leadership.

“She has the vision and passion to enable our students to enjoy an outstanding education of the highest quality.”

The Prebendal is believed to date back to the foundation of Chichester Cathedral. Its first headmaster was listed simply as ‘John’ in 1121.

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