St Paul’s School for boys has appointed the first female head in its 500 year history, amid suggestions that it plans to go co-ed in the sixth form.
Sally-Anne Huang, who is currently headmistress at James Allen’s Girls’ School in Dulwich, south London, said feels “enormously privileged” to take up the post of High Master next year.
The school, which was founded in 1509 by the Dean of St Paul’s Cathedral to educate boys “from all nacions and countres indifferently”, counts the poet John Milton, the diarist Samuel Pepys and the former Chancellor George Osborne among its alumni.
But the appointment of a female High Master will fuel speculation that the school is going to press ahead with plans to admit girls in the sixth form.
The west London school, which charges £38,991-a-year in fees for boarders, sent out a survey earlier this year to staff, pupils and parents to gather views on a possible mixed sixth-form.
The school wrote to alumni last month to explain that there is a “good deal of evidence” that both boys and girls benefit from mixed schooling in sixth form.
It pointed out that “most schools in London are coeducational at that age” and that St Paul’s could offer girls an “unparalleled all-round academic education” which would bring benefits for boys too.