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To inspire and to lead: Tonbridge’s new Head of School sets out his goals 

Lower Sixth student Tom Instance (PS4) has been appointed as Tonbridge’s Head of School for the 2022-23 academic year.

Tom, pictured centre, will be assisted in his duties by Chris Sneddon (OH4), left, and Charlie Thompson (HS4), named as Deputy Heads.

“I am delighted to have been appointed and look forward to representing the School,” Tom said. “My motivation to apply for the role came from a close connection to both School and town, having grown up in Tonbridge. 

“During my time as Head of School, I would like to bring the Upper and Lower School even closer together, and to further expand the roles of the Praes. Tonbridge plays an important role in the local community and I would also like to be fully involved in some of the charitable, voluntary and outreach work that is carried out.

"Overall, it is a goal of mine to inspire other Tonbridgians, provide leadership and give my very best.”

Describing his time at Tonbridge as “an amazing and diverse experience”, Tom, a keen sportsman, says that taking a wicket with his first ball for the cricket team was among his stand-out moments.

Other highlights have been watching the House Music Competition for the first time; creating and developing the Tonbridge history magazine, The Boar; the CCF trip (Royal Navy section) to Portsmouth, where he learned to sail; and attending the European Youth Parliament. 

Tom is planning to read History and Politics at university and, while it may be a little early for career choices, says that the law has always interested him. 

Chris’ ambition is to study Medicine and he already has a plan to join the Navy as a medical cadet. A big fan of the Co-Curricular opportunities on offer at the School, his personal highlights include being part of the Honour Guard this year on CCF Inspection Day, and playing rackets at Queen’s. 

Charlie, who hopes to study Engineering, describes Tonbridge as “a great experience and my second home”. A member of Tonbridge Community Action, he enjoys visiting a local primary school each Wednesday afternoon to assist with teaching. “It has been a valuable, enriching experience that has taught us all about leadership and being a role model,” he adds. Charlie has represented Tonbridge in first team rugby and football, earning colours in both. 

James Priory, Tonbridge’s Headmaster, congratulated the boys on being selected from an outstanding group of candidates in the Lower Sixth. “Tom, Chris and Charlie will make an excellent team and I look forward to working closely with them throughout the next year,” he said.

Housemasters will now be leading the process of identifying Heads of House and making recommendations for next year’s School Praes.

Above and below: Tom, newly appointed Head of School, with Deputy Heads Charlie and Chris, pictured during Summer Term 2022.