BY DAVID V BARRETT
THE HEADMASTER of a prestigious Catholic independent school has announced his resignation.
Adrian Aylward, headmaster of Jesuit-run Stonyhurst College, near Clitheroe, Lancashire, announced his resignation this week – after 10 years at the helm.
Mr Aylward, a married father of three, wrote to parents on Monday to inform them that he would be step ping down at the end of the current academic year, which will end in July 2006.
“By next summer I shall have completed 10 years as headmaster and it seems a sensible time to hand over the reins and for myself to seek a new challenge,” he said in his letter.
During his time at Stonyhurst Mr Aylward has overseen the college becoming fully co-educational, opening its doors to girls for the first time in its history. But he also had to deal with controversy in 1998 and 1999 when Lancashire Constabulary launched its Operation Whiting into allegations of child abuse.
The 450-pupil, £21,000-ayear co-educational school whose motto is Quant je puis (“As much as I can”) – recovered its reputation under Mr Aylward’s leadership.
Stonyhurst boasts Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Bishop Crispian Hollis of Portsmouth, Conservative MP Bill Cash and BBC director-general Mark Thompson among its alumni. It was founded at St Omer, France, but crossed the English Channel during the French Revolution.
Kevin Ryan, chairman of the governors, said Mr Aylward would go with the “governors’ heartfelt thanks for the significant contribution which he has made to the life of the college and with our best wishes for every success in whatever new role he now decides to take on”.