A Teesside independent school has welcomed a new headteacher – the first woman to hold the role in its history.

Red House School, in Norton, has appointed Dr Rebecca Ashcroft in the top job, replacing outgoing headmaster Ken James, who has been in the role for five years.

Dr Ashcroft, who was previously the head of the senior school, said: “I am delighted to become the ninth head and the first female head of Red House School and I am very excited to build on the amazing and progressive work of my predecessor, Mr James.

“I am thrilled to be leading the school in its strategic educational vision. My previous role has equipped me well for the step up and I am looking forward to leading the whole school.”

Mr James is looking forward to his new role at Letz Live, an Australian gap year and working holiday organisation, and he will also be sharing his wealth of knowledge with other independent schools as a consultant.

He added: “After 92 years of educating boys and girls, it's about time Red House had a female head. Rebecca has shown herself to be an outstanding practitioner who will keep a respectful eye on Red House's proud past and a keen intent to drive the school forward.”

Dr Ashcroft has worked in education for more than 15 years, moving to Red House in 2020 from a position as assistant head and head of sixth form at Harrogate Ladies’ College.

She said: “The whole school community has been so welcoming and phenomenally supportive that I cannot imagine myself ever working anywhere else.

“As such, I am looking forward to deepening my relationships within school, and, following a year of online lessons and meetings, to being able to have whole-school ‘in person’ assemblies and hosting parent events in school.

“I am also looking forward to continuing to drive our mindfulness and wellbeing initiatives, building on the accomplishments that we have achieved in the last year.”

Red House, which marks its 92nd anniversary this year, has also promoted Claire Thompson to the role of deputy head and head of the senior school.

Mrs Thompson, who was previously assistant head and head of key stage 2, said: “I am extremely proud to have been appointed as deputy head and head of the senior school.

“I am really looking forward to assisting Dr Ashcroft, the school council and other staff in shaping a vision for the future of Red House, building upon our fantastic achievements to date.”

Dr Ashcroft is also looking forward to welcoming prospective families to the next Open Morning on Saturday, September 25, 9 am - 12 noon. Families are required to book in advance as places are limited.

For more information about Red House School, visit www.redhouseschool.co.uk