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Royal Farewell to Head of Leading Boarding School

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John Franklin will be retiring this summer, following ten years as Head Master of Christ’s Hospital. Events to mark John’s final year included a royal farewell lunch with the President of Christ’s Hospital, HRH The Duke of Gloucester.

John said: “We are always delighted to welcome HRH The Duke of Gloucester to Christ’s Hospital and I feel particularly privileged that HRH was able to visit the School during my final term.”

Having seen tough economic times, John has taken steps to ensure he leaves the School on a strong financial footing, continuing to lead the way in independent education by providing substantial bursaries to three-quarters of its pupils. Both John and his wife, Kim, have made their mark on the School and, as Guy Perricone, Treasurer of CH commented: “CH has, in every respect, made enormous progress in the ten years under John Franklin’s leadership. The School is in excellent shape for Simon Reid, when he begins his headship in the new academic year.”

During John’s leadership, the School has remained predominantly a boarding school for children from a diverse range of backgrounds, however, the need to embrace the local community was recognised and day pupils are now welcome. The number of boarders has also increased and the School has taken a step into the international arena, widening the cultural diversity of the pupil population. The campus is also buzzing during the holidays with international schools, providing a welcome boost to the School’s income and the local economy. The generous support from alumni, the City and non-affiliates, helps to bridge the gap between the income from Christ’s Hospital’s endowment and the cost of running the School, supporting pupils who would not otherwise have the benefit of a life-changing educational opportunity.

John Franklin has overseen substantial improvements to the Grade II* listed buildings and ensured high quality teaching resources, particularly for science, languages, design and technology, careers and sports training. Exciting development plans are underway for a new catering block to replace the kitchen. He has also been responsible for introducing the highly successful IB Diploma, alongside the A level course, for sixth form pupils and for upholding a strong pattern of excellent examination results. Additionally, co-curricular and pastoral initiatives have been implemented, including the introduction of a new tutorial programme.

John Franklin commented: “It has been a real privilege for Kim and I to be members of the CH community for the past decade and to play a modest part in its positive transformation. I am very privileged to have been one of the many Head Masters, the thirtieth in four and half centuries, who has served CH and confident that the School has a bright future with Simon, and his wife Michèle.

“Now, I am looking forward to spending more time with Kim, settling into our new home in Storrington and furthering work with our Livery Companies, the Salters’ and the Woolmen. Kim and I would like to thank the staff and governors, the remarkable pupils, parents, former pupils and benefactors for their incredible support.”

John and Kim were also presented by the Treasurer with a portrait, as a ‘thank you’ from the Trustees. John Franklin will be succeeded by Simon Reid, currently Principal of Gordonstoun School, from this September.

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