Headmaster Richard Foster of Windlesham House has walked away with the Lifetime Achievement Award at the TES Awards 2020.
Now in his 103rd term as a Headmaster, Richard Foster leads Windlesham House, a boarding school in the South Downs. Considered “a stalwart of boarding”, Foster is credited with having taken Windlesham from strength to strength, creating what one parent described as “the school you dream you went to yourself ”.
He started his career in 1985 as the youngest-ever headmaster at Pembroke House School in Kenya. He turned that school into a co-educational institution and forged partnerships with UK public schools. When he left, Pembroke House had a long waiting list. In 1994, he became headmaster of St Anselm’s in Bakewell, where he increased the school’s focus on boarding and transformed its social engagement with parents. Also, owing to his “excellent” fundraising skills, he enabled wide renovation works and the creation of a new sports hall.
While at Windlesham, Foster is said to have devoted himself to the school, creating an environment that students often refer to as a “home from home”. He has promoted the institution widely with parents and the education community, and is highly respected by other school leaders, who regularly come to him for strategic advice. At the heart of his philosophy is the notion that happiness is fundamental for children to do well. His mantra to students is “be kind, be kind, be kind”. Parents appreciate Foster’s devotion and commitment to the happiness, safety and emotional wellbeing of the children in his care.
His students also benefit from his knowledge of senior schools and “immense” network of contacts – he is said to be “excellent” at matching the individual student to the right senior school. As a result, Windlesham has an “unusually high” success rate, with all children gaining a place at their chosen school. And based on their experience at Windlesham, almost all of them opt for boarding.
Find out more about Mr Foster and Windlesham House at their Inside Scoop here.