Shebbear College has appointed its first ever female headteacher in almost 200 years of school history.

Caroline Kirby has been appointed as the next headteacher of Shebbear College and will start in September. Picture: DEPREZphotoCaroline Kirby has been appointed as the next headteacher of Shebbear College and will start in September. Picture: DEPREZphoto

Caroline Kirby will be joining the school in September 2019 after being selected from more than 50 applicants.

She is currently deputy head at Le Régent College in Switzerland and will be moving to Devon with her husband Robert and their three children, aged between four and nine.

Shebbear College has said the selection panel was unanimous in choosing Caroline, who is a graduate of Bristol University and has more than a decade of senior school leadership, coupled with extensive teaching and pastoral care experience.

Chairman of governors Mike Saltmarsh said: "Caroline will be a major asset for the school, her experience and leadership qualities will enable the College to continue on its journey to be the best independent school in the South West.

"We have invested heavily in new facilities in music and our state of the art Sixth Form Centre and have exciting plans for the future. Caroline is exactly the head we need to take us forward with those plans."

Caroline will be the first woman to lead the school in its history which stretches back to 1829.

She said: "I am excited to be joining such a successful school at this time, with the opportunity to develop its curriculum and facilities to meet the needs of a 21st century education and at the same time retaining the traditions and ethos of Shebbear.

"My family and I are very excited about the move to Devon, a part of the country we know and love, and joining the family community that is Shebbear College."

Shebbear College is part of the Methodist Independent Schools Trust (MIST) and David Humphreys, MIST general secretary said "Caroline's skills and expertise will help Shebbear College grow to the next level. MIST is looking forward to welcoming her to the group."