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David Cresswell appointed as Barney’s 11th Headmaster

23 Nov 2023

We are delighted to announce David Cresswell as Barnard Castle School’s 11th Headmaster in our illustrious 140-year history.

Following a rigorous, multi-stage process involving a strong field of applicants, the Governing Body has appointed David to succeed Tony Jackson from September 2024.

David Cresswell joins Barney from prestigious independent school, Whitgift School, in Croydon, London, where he is Senior Deputy Head, responsible for the operational day-to-day running of the 1,500-pupil institution.

David is already well-known to many of our community as he previously served as Barnard Castle School’s Deputy Head (i/c Sixth Form) from 2017-2020, successfully developing our Further Education provision and becoming an integral member of the Senior Leadership Team.

Prior to joining Barney, David taught Modern Languages and Theatre Studies at his alma mater, Cranleigh School, before moving to Radley College to take up the positions of Head of German and Deputy Housemaster. He is a graduate in Modern Languages from Oxford University, where he captained the University Hockey team, winning his Blue four times over.

A keen theatregoer and former professional Hockey player in Germany and England, Mr Cresswell will return North with his wife, Aynsley, who is a qualified GP, and their two young children, Olivia and Alexander.

Barney’s departing Headmaster, Tony Jackson, is to pursue a new career outside of education, but will remain an active member of our community as a parent, with his children, Annabel, Georgina and William, continuing their educations at the School, where his wife, Dawn, is a Tutor and teaches Geography in the Senior School. Tony very much looks forward to welcoming David and his family back to Barney.

Catherine Sunley, Chair of Governors at Barnard Castle School, said: “It is with great excitement that we announce the appointment of David Cresswell as our next Headmaster. David is an experienced and talented educator with exceptional qualities who not only shares our vision for Barney, but whose appointment will undoubtedly shape the future of Barney, building on the remarkable tenure and foundations laid over the last seven years by our current Headmaster, Mr Tony Jackson.

“Many members of our community will already have an association with and remember David from when he served as a very successful Deputy Head, responsible for our thriving Sixth Form. The Governors are particularly pleased to welcome him back to Barney as his knowledge of our School, combined with his leadership qualities and experience at a top independent school, as well as his personal and professional relationship with Tony, will ensure a smooth and effective handover of responsibilities.”

David Cresswell, Headmaster Elect of Barnard Castle School, said: “I am delighted to have been appointed as the next Headmaster at Barney, a School that is close to my heart and a community that I am proud to be part of. I am incredibly excited about the opportunity to lead this wonderful School to continued success, building upon its already strong foundation, where community is at the heart of everything it does. 

“My family and I are excited to be moving back up to the North East and I am already looking forward to meeting with parents, students and staff over the coming months as we collectively shape a vibrant tomorrow for the School and enrich the lives of those within our special, Barney community.”