New head appointed for fast-growing North Wales private school

23rd July 2019

A new head has been appointed at Myddelton College in Denbigh which is the second fastest growing private school in the UK.

Andrew Allman, 39, said he was “proud and privileged” to take the helm at the co-educational day and boarding school which was recently hailed by inspectors as “a vibrant international learning community”.

As well as being one of the fastest growing, Myddelton College was the newest independent school in Britain when it opened in 2016  on the site of the former Howells School, which closed in 2013.

Two thirds of the school’s students come from Denbighshire, Flintshire and Conwy and it also attracts boarders from 16 different nationalities from as far afield as Kazakhstan, Russia, China, Nigeria, Spain, Italy, Mexico and Chile.

Pupil numbers are due to increase to 280 when the new school year begins in September, up over 27 per cent on the previous year.

The new head paid tribute to his predecessor Mark Roberts for the firm foundations he laid in making Myddelton College “a successful school where pupils thrive personally and academically”.

Mr Allman is originally from Shrewsbury and attended Shrewsbury School, another of the country’s leading private schools and one which produced politician Michael Heseltine and former Monty Python star and travel show presenter Michael Palin.

He went on to BA in Theology and an M Ed as well as teaching qualifications at Durham University before joining the staff of Barnard Castle, a school with a glittering reputation for producing rugby internationals.

Its former pupils include a string of rugby stars including England and British Lions fly-half Rob Andrew and wingers Rory and Tony Underwood as well as TV gardener Geoffrey Smith and Sir Edward Mellanby, the discoverer of Vitamin D.

Mr Allman, is married to Sarah – the couple have a daughter, Phoebe, and son, Jacob – came to Myddelton College from Barnard Castle two years ago as Head of Academic Studies and worked closely with his predecessor to strengthen the new school.

He said: “Mark Roberts did a fantastic job here and we have completely overhauled the school to give it the academic rigour it needed.

“I had been at Barnard Castle, which is a brilliant school, for 15 years and I was ready for a new challenge in a wonderful part of the world.

“It was the opportunity and the vision of establishing a new independent school with all the opportunities to introduce a teaching style and techniques appropriate for the generation that we’re living in.

“It’s about balancing traditional teaching techniques with the 21st century technology that we have available and it’s perhaps easier to do that at a school at the beginning of its history.”
Myddelton College, a co-educational day and boarding school, was the UK’s newest independent school when it opened in the autumn of 2016 and is the only school in North Wales with a 5G network.

The Estyn Report issued earlier this year praised the way the school celebrates its diversity, said that pupils’ behaviour was “exemplary” and was also impressed by the high level of support and guidance provided by the “committed staff”.

Andrew Allman added: “We have some great support here for the pupils and the foundations have been set here very successfully and now I’m coming in with independent experience to take it to the next level.

“Mark Roberts did a great job here and we now have a really good basis to work from in helping our students achieve what they set out to do and fulfilling the wishes of their parents.

“I want it to be a calm, kind, happy school where pupils have mutual respect and can thrive and reach their goals.

“We have a very in-depth induction process where from their arrival pupils from overseas are ‘buddied’ with domestic pupils and share all the aspects of school life in a way that benefits both.

“The inclusivity of the school was praised in the Estyn Report and it is a very happy place.”

The school currently has 70 boarders and 150 day pupils with 45 staff, including over 30 teachers, and Mr Allman added: “The school has integrated into the local community very well and people here are delighted is it open again and making a contribution to the local community.

“We encourage local organisations to make use of our facilities here and the list of those that do includes dance groups, a boxing club and the Scouts.”