Appointment of new Deputy Heads

We are delighted to announce the appointment of two new Deputy Heads at Sevenoaks from September 2021, following a highly competitive recruitment process.

Deputy Head Co-curriculum

Mrs Sally Walmsley has been appointed as Deputy Head Co-curriculum from September 2021. Sally went to boarding school and then read Physiological Sciences at Exeter College, Oxford. While at Oxford she was part of a team that won the Varsity Match in sailing and then persuaded the Blues Committee that women should earn a full blues like the men, rather than half blues.

Sally trained as a solicitor and had a 12-year career in law, which included working in San Francisco, Paris and London. She then moved into teaching at St Swithun’s, a leading independent girls’ school in Winchester, where she teaches biology and runs debating. She was quickly promoted to the role of Housemistress and for the past three years has been Head of Sixth Form.

Sally champions the importance of holistic education. She still loves sailing and enjoys running, tennis, hockey, cycling, swimming and Pilates. Sally is looking forward to coming to Sevenoaks with her family.

On her appointment, Mrs Walmsley said, ‘I am thrilled to be moving to Sevenoaks School and to accept the post of Deputy Head Co-Curriculum. Sevenoaks is an inspirational school which sets internationally renowned high standards in everything it does, and I am very much looking forward to being a part of it. It will be an honour to work in a school which values the co-curricular element of education so highly, and aspires to continue to raise the profile of service, partnership and community spirit alongside traditional academic education.’


Deputy Head Pastoral

Mr Jonathan Lidiard has been appointed as Deputy Head Pastoral from September 2021. Jon attended boarding school, and read Classics at Oriel College, Oxford, where he earned a first-class degree. He started his teaching career as Head of Classics at St Columba’s, an HMC day school in St Albans, and since 2009 he has worked as Head of Classics and then a Housemaster at Sedbergh School, an HMC co-educational boarding school in the Yorkshire Dales.

Jon is a progressive, emerging leader, who already demonstrates great insight into best practice in the top schools and who will ensure that pastoral care at Sevenoaks remains excellent. His first projects will be to support us in our application for the Optimus Education Wellbeing Award in Schools and to launch a project with our Institute of Teaching & Learning and the Human Flourishing Program at Harvard University.

Jon is a keen sportsman who runs regularly and coaches rugby; he looks forward to moving to Kent over the summer with his family and their springer spaniel.

On Mr Lidiard’s appointment, he said, ‘It is a great privilege to have been appointed as Deputy Head Pastoral. Sevenoaks exudes energy and ambition; as a family we are excited about joining this community and immersing ourselves in what is clearly a supportive and nurturing environment. My priority will always be the welfare and best outcomes of the students and I very much look forward to working with them, their parents and the staff who already provide such excellent care.’ 


Senior Deputy Head

Dr Clare Ives has been appointed as the new Senior Deputy Head at Sevenoaks School from September 2021. 

Dr Ives is joining us from Canford School, a coeducational HMC school in Dorset, where she has worked closely with their Headmaster in recent years, leading an Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Working Group. She has also been a Housemistress for six years, and previously Head of History; she will bring a wealth of both academic and pastoral experience with her.  

A boarder at school, Dr Ives then earned a first-class degree in History from the University of St Andrews. She wrote her PhD at St Andrews, focussing on the Civil Rights Movement in the United States in the 1960s. She is a keen musician, and plays the flute, piano and double bass – the latter often with her school orchestra. She also loves singing. Alongside her interest in music, she is an enthusiastic sportswoman, and has coached hockey, netball and tennis. Prior to starting her teaching career, Dr Ives spent eight years working as a civil servant, and is proud of serving her country in this manner. She has two sons and two dogs, and very much looks forward to moving to Kent to join us next September.  

Upon her appointment, Dr Ives said, ‘I am honoured to accept the post of Senior Deputy Head at Sevenoaks. I am so excited to work in a school which sets such high standards of achievement, and which values the individuality of each student while fostering a sense of service and commitment, both locally and globally. I am really looking forward to becoming part of this progressive, stimulating and warm community.’