BY MARK GREAVES A NEW HEADMASTER has been appointed at Stonyhurst
College, a prominent Jesuit
boarding school in Lancashire.
The Stonyhurst governors have chosen Andrew Johnson, a Catholic who is currently the deputy head of Birkdale School in Sheffield, to succeed Adrian Aylward in September.
Mr Johnson, who was educated at Skinners School in Tunbridge Wells, Kent, and later at Bristol University, has a wife and two sons, aged eight and 10.
He said: "I am very much looking forward to joining Stonyhurst College and to working with the enthusiastic and dedicated staff to build on the significant achievements of recent years." The governors of the school — which counts 22 martyrs, three saints and seven recipients of the Victoria Cross among its past pupils — have said they are "delighted" that Mr Johnson has accepted their offer.
Chairman of governors Kevin Ryan said: "It is our unanimous view that, of a strong field of candidates, he had the necessary combination of talents to build on the success achieved by Adrian Aylward, the present head."
Before joining Birkdale School Mr Johnson, who is 39, was a teacher at Winchester School for nine years, four of which were spent as head of modem languages.
Ged Clapson, a spokesman for the Jesuits in Britain, welcomed the appointment: "Stonyhurst has a particularly
long history, and, as one of our leading colleges, this is a very important ministry for the province. I am sure Mr Johnson will do an admirable job."
Stonyhurst College is a coeducational school for children aged between I 3 and 18, and was founded in 1592 at St Omer in Artois, France. for English Catholics who were denied the religious education they sought at home. It is now located near Clitheroe.
Alumni have included Mark Thompson, directorgeneral of the BBC, and Arthur Conan Doyle, the creator of Sherlock Holmes.
Mr Aylward was headmaster of Stonyhurst College for 10 years, during which time the school became fully coeducational, opening its doors to girls for the first time in its history.