Headteacher of top Hampstead school makes mystery departure

PUBLISHED: 15:33 19 April 2013 | UPDATED: 17:03 19 April 2013

Jenny Stephen. Picture: Nigel Sutton.

Jenny Stephen. Picture: Nigel Sutton.


The headteacher of an exclusive all-girls school has not returned after the Easter holiday having announced her resignation earlier this year.

Jenny Stephen was due to remain at South Hampstead High School, in Maresfield Gardens, Hampstead, until the end of the academic year but has left a term earlier than planned in a move which has heightened the mystery surrounding her departure.

A statement released in January by South Hampstead High, a top independent school which boasts Hollywood actress Helena Bonham Carter and author Fay Weldon as former pupils, said Mrs Stephen would be leaving at the end of the year for “professional reasons”.

But a spokeswoman for the Girls’ Day School Trust (GDST), which South Hampstead High School is part of, said it had since “been agreed” that Mrs Stephen would be “stepping down early, at the end of the spring term”.

GDST recently appointed Helen Pike as Mrs Stephen’s replacement.

Ms Pike, currently director of studies at Royal Grammar School, Guildford, will take up her new role as headteacher at South Hampstead High in September.

In the interim, the school will be led by Libby Nicholas, currently the GDST’s deputy director of education and previously deputy headteacher of the GDST’s Sutton High School.

The school, for four to 18-year-olds, split between a junior and senior site, charges parents up to £4,560 per term.

In recent years, Mrs Stephen had overseen a redevelopment project at the school, which has so far seen the demolition of a Victorian building on the senior school site which is set to be replaced with a modernist glass building due to open next year.

Latest Hampstead Education News

South Hampstead High School’s bursary scheme has been championed by a former student who grasped the opportunity with both hands.

A team of media-hungry teenagers have arrived at the Ham&High for the Student Takeover 2018.

The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama has backed the Mayor of London’s commitment to calling out sexist and misogynistic attitudes.

Plans for a raft of Catholic schools to form an academy trust have been kicked into the long grass due to a lack of interest from those consulted.

Camden and Haringey schoolchildren have been celebrating the magic of fiction on World Book Day.

The Ham&High’s student takeover team has been decided following a Dragons’ Den-style pitching session at the City of Westminster College.

Placard-bearing staff at UCL have entered their second week of strikes in response to a dispute over pensions.

A consultation has been launched on plans to bring a specialist school for young people with autism to Haringey.

A Hampstead school table tennis team is going for glory after getting through to the finals of the table tennis national school team championships.

An Archway children’s centre has been rated “outstanding” across the board in its latest Ofsted report.

Fortismere School has appointed two permanent headteachers following a “rigorous selection process”.

A Camden super group has been formed to ensure that “no child gets left behind in Camden”.

The decision to admit girls into UCS Hampstead 10 years ago has been described as “ground-breaking”.

Former La Sainte Union student Eden Lunghy, 18, speaks to the Ham&High about her role as a Camden deputy youth mayor.

“Promoting equality and empowerment” remains at the forefront for an independent school celebrating 100 years since women were first able to exercise their right to vote.

The husband of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe has said the care a school has shown in hosting a play about their ordeal has made a great difference to his jailed wife.

Children at Our Lady of Muswell Primary School were left “stunned” by a surprise visit of Britain’s tallest man.

Pupils are being warned of the dangers of being mugged at home time as they continue to be targeted by teenage gangs.

Hornsey School for Girls has been named as the best performing school for progress in Haringey.

Camden School for Girls has been recognised as the top performing schools for progress in the borough.

The headteacher of St Aloysius College in Archway has been suspended from his post after being arrested on suspicion of fraud.

Highgate Primary School has received a donation of 100 trees to help transform the site into a greener and healthier space.

The future is bright for Hawley Primary School following the official opening of its new building.

Students from Portland Place School have demonstrated their support for anti-bullying by winning first place in the ‘odd socks day challenge’.

A Golders Green school is celebrating after receiving an “outstanding” Ofsted report.

Our Lady of Muswell Hill Primary School is on the up after receiving an upgrade in its Ofsted rating.

A Coldfall Primary School student has been named as the number one ranked under-10s table tennis player in the country.

Greig City Academy students were among dedicated sailors from across the UK who had their endeavours recognised by HRH Princess Anne at the annual Royal Yachting Awards (RYA) ceremony.

Schools have been hard at work in the run up to Christmas to provide as much festive cheer in the community as possible.

There have been some busy elves working away in the run up to Christmas at The Cavendish School.

South Hampstead Junior School pupils have marked 60 years since the school moved into its own separate site at 12 Netherhall Gardens in 1957.

‘The future is bright’ for a crop of Camden youngsters who dazzled judges in a public speaking contest at Regent High School.

Henrietta Barnett School has been named as the UK’s top performing state school in a much-anticipated annual league table released by the Sunday Times.

A success story of one of Archant London’s Student Takeover schemes is encouraging students at City of Westminster College and College of North West London to get involved in a potentially “life-changing” opportunity at the Ham&High.

A young violinist from Archway has described the moment she was accepted into the National Youth Orchestra (NYO) as like “a dream come true”.

A newly-opened redesigned wing at University College School has been dedicated to a headmaster who spent 17 years at the helm in Hampstead.

Camden headteachers have joined forces to highlight the impact of “relentless cuts” in the run-up to Philip Hammond’s budget announcement on Wednesday.

It was packed-out affair at Rokesly Junior School as parents received a lesson on how calmness is key when talking to your children.

Gifted youngsters from across Camden were celebrated at another inspiring Jack Petchey Foundation awards ceremony.

An opportunity of a lifetime has arisen for media-savvy students at City of Westminster College and the College of North West London.

A champion of diversity, a talented dancer and a rising musical star are just three of the youngsters who are set to be recognised at a Camden awards ceremony.

St Anthony’s School for Girls was awash with colour as students celebrated cultures from around the world.

Education editor James Scott speaks to Sarah Creasey about life as headteacher of Parliament Hill School.

“We are not going away,” was the warning shot to politicians in Westminster on Tuesday as parents and students from Haringey and Camden protested against school cuts.

Charitable students at UCS Hampstead have clubbed together to give a mammoth donation to the north Paddington food bank.

Most Read