A NEW principal has been appointed at one of the most prestigious schools in north Essex.

Nicola Griffiths is replacing long-serving Hilary Vipond at St Mary’s School, in Lexden Road.

She will take up the post on September 1.

Mrs Vipond (pictured below) is retiring at the end of the summer term after 25 years, having first started working there in January 1996.


Her successor, Mrs Griffiths, is currently deputy head of Ipswich High School.

She said: “I'm absolutely delighted to be appointed the next principal of St Mary's.

"It's been my career ambition to return to my home county and lead a wonderful girls' school which places the needs of every individual at the forefront of everything it does.

"I'm also looking forward to working with the school community to continue Hilary's amazing work over the forthcoming years."


Principal Hilary is celebrating a landmark anniversary at Colchester school

The appointment was confirmed by chair of governors Adam Hildred.

He said it followed a rigorous selection process featuring an outstanding field of candidates.

St Mary’s is a member of the Girls’ Schools Association, Independent Association of Preparatory Schools and Round Square organisation.

The Sunday Times named its Lower School as the 12th-highest performing preparatory school in the country, in its Parent Power listing of the UK’s Top Preparatory Schools.