Ashville College appoints first female head

Rhiannon Wilkinson will become Ashville College’s first female Head. Mrs Wilkinson is no stranger to Harrogate, having previously been Headmistress at Harrogate Ladies’ College from 2009 until 2013, followed by Wycombe Abbey in Buckinghamshire.

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21st April 2021 — Rhiannon Wilkinson will become Ashville College’s first female Head and was the unanimous choice of the Board of Governors.

Throughout the rigorous selection process, she demonstrated her understanding of the importance of providing young people with the knowledge, skills and confidence to thrive in an ever-developing and challenging world.

Her appointment comes following the sad death of the tenth Headmaster, Richard Marshall, who died last November aged 48 of cancer.

Mrs Wilkinson is no stranger to Harrogate, having previously been Headmistress at Harrogate Ladies’ College from 2009 until 2013, followed by Wycombe Abbey in Buckinghamshire.

During a varied career, Oxford graduate Mrs Wilkinson has taught in – and led – schools in the UK, Hong Kong and Brunei, and most recently was the founding Head of Whittle School Shenzhen which opened simultaneously alongside its sister school Whittle School Washington DC.

Jamie Search, Ashville College’s Chair of Governors, said: "Rhiannon Wilkinson’s previous experience exemplifies that she is an exceptional educational leader, one whose star qualities shone through during all the stages of the selection process.

"In her four years at Harrogate Ladies’ College, she did an exceptional job and is credited with transforming the fortunes of the school.

"We feel incredibly privileged to have someone of Rhiannon’s calibre and experience joining Ashville College, and I’m looking forward to working with her to create the next chapter in Ashville’s 144-year history."

Rhiannon Wilkinson said: "I’m absolutely delighted to be joining Ashville College and returning to the Harrogate District which I always saw as my forever home.

"As a Head over the last 12 years, I am confident that my versatility and commitment to serve young people and their families, whatever their background, need or ability, will enable me to succeed at Ashville College.

She continued: "Ashville is rich in heritage and remains true to its strong Methodist values, it is small enough to care but big enough to challenge both its day and boarding pupils.

"As Head I very much look forward to adopting and leading the school’s mantra of pupils becoming the ‘best version of themselves’ and to building on the successes of my predecessors, in particular the unfulfilled legacy of Richard Marshall, and getting to know the staff, pupils, parents, and wider Ashville family over the coming weeks, months and years."

Ashville College (Coed 3-18) is a day and boarding school in Yorkshire.

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