The Council of Governors of The Abbey School is delighted to announce the appointment of Mrs Rachel Dent as the next Headmistress of the school, effective 1 September 2014. Mrs Dent, who is currently First Deputy Head at The Abbey, will succeed Mrs Barbara Stanley who is retiring after twelve years of outstanding service to the School.
Making the announcement, Dr Debby Reynolds, Chairman of Governors at The Abbey School said: “The Council has unanimously made this appointment after an intensive search and a rigorous selection process to find the right person to lead The Abbey School into an exciting future. We have been impressed by Mrs Dent’s achievements, strong leadership skills and her innovative ideas which will build on both the academic success and the caring ethos of The Abbey School that Mrs Stanley has placed at the heart of our community. We believe this will continue to inspire pupils and staff alike, and take The Abbey School confidently into its future.”
Commenting on her appointment, Mrs Dent said: “I am excited about leading The Abbey School over the coming years and very much intend to continue to develop The Abbey philosophy of educating the ‘whole girl’ with all that is needed to meet the challenges of the 21st century. Under my leadership I intend this school to remain a happy, vibrant community where all are encouraged to flourish.”
Mrs Stanley congratulated her successor, commenting: “I feel very proud of everything that The Abbey School has grown to be during my time as Headmistress. As well as excellent academic achievement, the School offers exceptional opportunities for girls to enjoy new and diverse experiences, develop skills in leadership and teamwork and grow into valuable and fulfilled members of a global society. I am delighted that Mrs Dent will succeed me as Headmistress of The Abbey, taking forward and building upon the distinctive Abbey ethos which means so much to our dynamic and vibrant community.”
Mrs Dent holds a BA in English from The University of Southampton. She began her career in 1992 as a teacher of English in Alexandria, Egypt. She then became a teacher of English at Wisbech Grammar School, before joining Cokethorpe School, Oxfordshire in 1995 where her career quickly progressed to Head of Department of English and Drama, and ultimately Head of Sixth Form. Mrs Dent joined The Abbey School in 2006 as Director of Sixth Form. She was promoted to Assistant Head and assumed her current role as First Deputy Head in 2010. Mrs Dent also serves as a Governor of St Andrew’s School, Pangbourne.