THE council of governors of the Abbey School in Reading has announced the appointment of Rachel Dent as the next headmistress, effective from September 1, 2014. Mrs Dent, who is currently first deputy head at the Abbey, will succeed Barbara Stanley who is retiring after 12 years of outstanding service.
Dr Debby Reynolds, chairman of governors, 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 school that Mrs Stanley has placed at the heart of our community. We believe she will continue to inspire pupils and staff alike.”
Mrs Dent said: “I am excited about leading the Abbey School over the coming years and very much intend to continue to develop the 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 Dent holds a BA in English from the University of Southampton. She began her career in 1992, teaching English in Alexandria, Egypt. She then taught English at Wisbech Grammar School, before joining Cokethorpe School, Oxfordshire in 1995.
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 in 2010. Mrs Dent also serves as a governor of St Andrew’s School, Pangbourne.
The Abbey is a selective day school of almost 1,100 girls aged three to 18. This year’s record-breaking results put the Abbey 17th in the national ranking for A level and 37th for GCSE.