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School makes history

Published on:

01 June 2016

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An Enfield school has made history by appointing the first female head teacher of a Catholic secondary school in the United Kingdom.

An Enfield school has made history by appointing the first female head teacher of a Catholic secondary school in the United Kingdom.

Mary O’Keeffe was appointed to the headship of the all-boys St Ignatius College in Turkey Street, Enfield, in May and will take on her new role on 1 September. She is the first female head eacher in the school’s 122 year history.

Mrs O’Keeffe said: “I am absolutely delighted to have been appointed Headteacher of St Ignatius College. It is an honour and privilege to be the leader of such a special community. 

“I will be relentless in my mission to ensure that the College is an outstanding Catholic community in every respect, one where students excel academically and are happy and safe on their academic and faith journey. I look forward to working closely with families, students, staff, governors and those in the wider community to make this a reality.”

It was founded at Stamford Hill in 1894 by The Society of Jesus (the Jesuits), with the specific intention of educating Catholic boys of North East London to become “Men for Others”. It was assessed as good by Ofsted earlier this year with inspectors praising educational attainment, pupils behaviour and the efforts the school makes to promote good behaviour and ensure students are well cared for.

Last year 68 per cent of pupils achieved five or more GCSE grades at A*-C including English and Maths and it recorded a 96.4 per cent pass mark amongst its A-level student, with 94 per cent of students going on to a university of their choice.

Enfield Council’s Cabinet Member for Education, Children’s Services & Protection, Cllr Ayfer Orhan, said: “St Ignatius is an excellent school and its appointment of a female headteacher is a watershed moment for education in this country.

“ I would like to congratulate both St Ignatius and Mrs O’Keeffe on this appointment and wish both parties the very best of luck in all their endeavours.

“We will continue to work with and support the school and look forward to forging a strong and productive partnership with the new head teacher in the coming months and years.”