Governors announce new Head for September 2023

Oct 21

The Governors of Hanford School are delighted to announce the appointment of Hilary Phillips to succeed Rory Johnston as Head of Hanford from September 2023.

Hilary joins Hanford with a wealth of experience. She is currently Head of Lower School at Benenden School and has been Head of two prep schools, Ashdown House and Monmouth Schools Girls’ Prep School.

Andrew Hussey, Chair of Governors at Hanford School, said of Hilary’s appointment, “We are very fortunate to have appointed such an outstanding candidate from a very strong field of applicants. Throughout the recruitment process, we were impressed by Hilary’s professionalism, dynamism and her easy rapport with pupils and staff. I am confident that Hilary will continue to build on Rory Johnston’s successful legacy at Hanford and look forward to planning a number of opportunities for parents and prospective parents to meet Hilary over the coming terms.”

Hilary was educated at Hereford Cathedral School and graduated from Exeter University with a degree in French and Education. She speaks fluent French and excellent Portuguese having spent eight years living and working in Portugal where she was Director of Studies at the Cambridge School in Lisbon. She was Director of Pastoral Care at Edgeborough School before taking up her first headship at Monmouth School Girls’ Prep.

Hilary loves riding and is a former GB skateboard high jump record holder; she enjoys cycling, skiing and netball, playing golf badly as well as gardening and keeping chickens. She is married to Jeremy, a chartered surveyor, and they have three children. Theo is a languages teacher at Marlborough College, Esme is studying languages at Durham and Tilly is mixing A levels next summer with as much riding as possible. Their three whippets are also looking forward to joining the Hanford family.

Hilary said of her appointment, “Hanford is an amazing school that offers girls a brilliant education and from the moment I first arrived, I could tell it was a very special place. I am honoured to be appointed as the next Head and I am so pleased to become a part of this happy community. I am looking forward to working hard with the dedicated staff and continuing the traditions and heritage of Hanford whilst ensuring the education of the girls fully prepares them for whatever the future may hold.”

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