09 June 2016, The Tablet

Ampleforth headmaster resigns after school reforms battle

David Lambon was the first ever lay Head to preside over the Benedictine college

The first lay headmaster of Ampleforth College has stepped down less than two years after joining the private Catholic school.

David Lambon, who took up the prestigious post of Headmaster in September 2014, will be leaving Ampleforth at the end of the summer term.

In a letter sent to parents, the Abbot of Ampleforth, Cuthbert Madden, said Mr Lambon was leaving “to pursue new professional opportunities”. 

According to The Daily Telegraph Mr Lambon resigned after parents and students opposed a proposal to introduce a school uniform; students at the £30,000 a year college wear suits.

In November last year, he told the Telegraph: "I'd like to introduce the uniform into the school but the students and parents have come back and said 'no'."

Lambon also introduced changes to the notoriously traditional style of teaching at the Benedictine college, such as encouraging pupils to mark each other’s homework and tests and to make key decisions about the running of the school.

There was no statement from Mr Lambon about his departure. Instead Fr Madden said: "David has asked me to convey his thanks to staff, students and their parents, who welcomed him to Ampleforth and have supported the developments introduced by him and his team."

Fr Wulstan Peterburs, Procurator of Ampleforth Abbey and College, will take over as Headmaster for the interim until his replacement is recruited, reverting back to the tradition of having a monk in charge of the college.

Mr Lambon previously held the position of Principal of St Malachy's College in Belfast and Principal of St Mary's Grammar School in Magherafelt in County Londonderry. An engineer and mathematician, Mr Lambon also has an MBA in School Leadership Management.

Ampleforth College is a 200-year-old day and boarding co-educational school in north Yorkshire. It opened in 1802 as a boys’ school, and is run by the Benedictine monks of Ampleforth Abbey and lay staff. Alumni include Lord Nolan and Christopher Tugendhat, Lord Fellowes, creator of Downton Abbey, and Andrew Parker Bowles, the former husband of the Duchess of Cornwall.

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