School News

John Gibson

Birkdale is sad to announce the death of a former Head of its Prep School, John Gibson.



John was appointed at the age of 30 in 1987 to lead the development of the Prep School. Working closely with the then Head Master Michael Hepworth, John relocated the Pre-Prep and Prep boys from the Westbury and Oakholme buildings respectively, at the Senior School site, to Clarke House next to the Botanical Gardens.The formal opening of the school was conducted by Sir John Osborn on 14 July 1988.

During his time at Birkdale, John guided the National Curriculum into the Prep School and sought to raise the reputation of the school within Sheffield, which he accomplished with great success. He left in 1995, leaving a school with high academic standards and an established reputation for the arts, sport, pastoral care and lots of support for the individual child.

From Birkdale, he moved on to lead the junior section of Taunton School, and in total John was Head of four preparatory schools. He also advised on the establishment of new Free Schools in Bradford, Cobham, Woking and Croydon, as well as an international school in Baku, Azerbaijan.

Following success as CEO of Harpenden Free School Trust, where he was immersed in a multi-million pound project to develop an exceptional new school for the town, John launched his own company that focused on interim management, school development and advice to discerning international families on independent school choice.

With a wealth of experience gained from over 20 years as a Head, John had a passion for school development and a deep interest in the primary curriculum.

We send our deepest condolences to his wife, daughter and son.


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