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A LEADING North East girls’ school has appointed a new Headmistress with a distinguished 25-year teaching career in the region and a flair for STEM.

Following a rigorous selection process, Durham High School, an all-through girls’ school with a rich history dating back to 1884, has appointed Michelle Hill as its new Head and Designated Safeguarding Lead.

With a prominent background in educational leadership and safeguarding, and after more than two years at Durham High School in leadership positions of Deputy Head (Pastoral), Vice Principal (3-18) and, most recently, Acting Principal, Mrs Hill brings a wealth of experience to the role.

Mrs Hill, a mother of two girls, said: “Durham High School was one of the first schools in the North East to take girls’ education seriously and it’s such an honour and a privilege to be appointed as its Headmistress.

“Our motto Be Your Best embodies everything I want for the girls here and I’m excited not only to lead the strategic direction and values of the school but to also be a visible and supportive part of each and every girl’s educational journey.”

A specialist Biology teacher, Mrs Hill has spent much of her 25-year career in the 11-16 state school sector in Redcar and Cleveland, including as Assistant Headteacher with responsibility for student support and lifelong learning at Sacred Heart Secondary School. She served in the Extended Leadership Team at Redcar Academy and helped raise achievements in Science across the Middlesbrough authority as an Advanced Skills Teacher.

Mrs Hill, who was educated at an all- girls’ secondary school, has a BSc in Environmental Biology from the University of Sunderland and is currently completing a MA in Education Leadership. She is the North East representative for the Girls’ Schools Association (GSA) Pastoral Committee.

With a passion for STEM, Mrs Hill said: “I love that stereotypes don’t exist at Durham High… all our scientists, mathematicians and budding engineers are girls and there’s no ceiling on their dreams.

“When I first stepped through the door it felt like home; there’s a real buzz of energy and passion among the girls and the close relationships they build with their teachers are exceptionally special. I stand back and think: ‘Wow! If only this could be bottled.”

Durham High School educates girls from Nursery through to Sixth Form on one site. In a report by the Independent Schools Inspectorate (ISI) it was found to be ‘excellent’ across all aspects of school life, from the rounded education it provides to the social and moral development of its pupils.