Appointment of New Master

Category: General

From the Chairman of Governors, Sir Hayden Phillips GCB DL

I am delighted to tell you that the Council has appointed Jonathan Leigh as Master of Marlborough College. He will take up his post this summer in succession to Nicholas Sampson, who steps down at the end of the academic year in order to take up the Headmastership of Cranbrook School in Sydney after eight years of most distinguished service in the development of the College. 

Jonathan Leigh is currently Headmaster of Ridley College in Canada. He has a most successful career in education: he has been Headmaster of Blundell’s School and Second Master at Cranleigh School. He holds a degree in History from Corpus Christi College, Cambridge: he enjoys sport, horse-racing, African Colonial History and music, particularly singing. He is married to Emma, herself a History graduate of the University of Cambridge: she looks forward to playing a full part in College life. They have two grown-up children. 

Jonathan will bring many qualities of leadership and great experience to Marlborough. In particular, his international engagement will help us to develop our global, as well as national, reputation for excellence in education. 


Following the announcement, the Master designate, Jonathan Leigh, said:

It is an enormous pleasure and honour to have been appointed Master of Marlborough College in succession to Nicholas Sampson.  Emma and I look forward to getting to know all the constituents which make Marlborough such a remarkable community.  I am delighted to continue to work with young people who have been the inspiration for my entire career.  Maintaining the enviable breadth so soundly established at Marlborough will be fundamental to this.  

Having led schools on both sides of the Atlantic I am only too aware of the importance of global connectivity.  It is my intention to align both the international and local position of Marlborough through emphasizing and enhancing high academic potential and the will to diversify and graduate pupils around the world.  We should be optimistic about the infinite opportunities which are available.”

The Master, Nicholas Sampson, replied:

Marlburians will be delighted by Jonathan’s appointment. He is an accomplished, highly successful and deeply experienced Headmaster with strong expertise in coeducational boarding. He has led two school communities with great success, implementing judicious change whilst sustaining core values. He possesses energy and vision. Above all, he is a man of great integrity and warm compassion whose commitment to the elevation of the interests of the young is wholehearted and genuine. I can think of no better person to take on the Mastership of the College.”

7th March 2012

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