A WELL-KNOWN school near York has appointed a new head.

Queen Margaret’s School for Girls, has named Nicola Dudley as its new head.

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She takes over the reigns at the school in Escrick, between York and Selby, from Sue Baillie who has been head since September 2019.

Ms Dudley has more than 24 years’ experience in independent education and is currently the Principal of Surval Montreux School for Girls in Switzerland.

Terry Burt, chairman of the board of governors at Queen Margaret’s said: “We are delighted to have appointed a high-profile head who is already a specialist in small-scale, girls-only education.

"During a rigorous recruitment process which yielded an international field of candidates, Nicola stood out as a perfect match for QM because of her enthusiasm for girls’ education and her vast experience of working across the boarding schools sector.”

Ms Dudley was educated at Wycombe Abbey, another leading girls school in Buckinghamshire, before gaining a first class honours degree from Jesus College, Oxford.

A linguist by training, she has taught at several leading independent schools before taking on a series of leadership roles at Lomond School (deputy head teacher), Scottish Council of Independent Schools (deputy director), Malvern College International (director of education) and Malvern College Hong Kong (founding deputy head).

Ms Dudley said:  “I am delighted to be joining Queen Margaret’s. From my first visit, I was struck by the warmth of the QM community. It is a school with so much to offer – academic excellence and choice coupled with incredible opportunities in the arts and sports. All this is provided within a nurturing and highly personalised environment where girls can flourish and be inspired. I am very much looking forward to embracing life at Queen Margaret’s and continuing to build on the school’s many strengths.”

She is set to join QM this autumn. The school say her appointment is another highlight in an already excellent year for Queen Margaret’s; the day and boarding school for girls was recently named Small Independent School of the Year in the Independent Schools of the Year Awards 2023.