Headmaster retires after 12 years of high achievement

John Marincowitz retires this month after 12 years as Headmaster of Queen Elizabeth’s School, Barnet.

During this period, the School has been rated as ‘outstanding’ in five consecutive Ofsted reports and has cemented its reputation as one of the country’s leading academic performers.

At the same time, it has maintained its position as a true meritocracy: a School where any boy with ability can succeed, regardless of his parents’ income, his ethnic background or the area in which he lives.

Dr Marincowitz will be succeeded by Neil Enright, currently the Deputy Headmaster, who in September 2011 will become the 40th Headmaster in the School’s 438-year history.

Chairman of Governors, Barrie Martin, said: “Appointed as Headmaster in 1999, John set about taking the School ‘from excellence to eminence’, recognising the quality of the establishment he had inherited from his predecessor, Eamonn Harris, but recognising also the potential to take the School to new heights.""

“Boys at the School achieve spectacular results, but their personal development, the opportunities for them to indulge their interests, the word of praise in a corridor from a member of staff who has noted their achievement, the careful guidance which sets them on the appropriate path as they move on from Queen Elizabeth’s, all of these rank equally in the School which John has led.”

A report published by the Sutton Trust this month found that QE is the country’s leading state School both in terms of the percentage of pupils achieving places at Oxford or Cambridge and of those gaining places at the UK’s 30 leading universities. The only schools above it in the report are fee-charging independent schools: unlike these, QE ranks as average for England for social deprivation, according to Ofsted.""

Mr Martin said: “Such findings underline the fact that under John’s tenure the School has achieved at the very highest levels, while at the same time making a significant contribution to social mobility.”

Dr Marincowitz first came to the School in 1985, when he was given a temporary contract as a History teacher. At that time, the School was sending just 10 boys a year to university and what were then polytechnics. Today almost all boys in the 280-strong Sixth Form win places at Russell Group universities.

In his time as Headmaster, in line with the School’s mission of producing young men who are ‘confident, able and responsible’, he has always expected QE boys to pursue interests beyond their studies. As a result, the School continues to perform strongly in areas as diverse as sport, chess and public speaking.""

The School became a specialist Music College in 2004, with a secondary specialism of IT. This specialism was re-awarded in 2008.

Also under his tenure, in 2009 the School gained Training School status from the Department for Children, Schools and Family (now Department for Education), having become eligible to apply because it was recognised as a High Performing Specialist School by the Government.

Determined to provide pupils with the best possible educational environment, Dr Marincowitz has overseen the development of impressive new facilities, such as the Martin Swimming Pool and Shearly Hall, funded through the generosity of parents and supporters.

In his farewell letter to parents, he paid tribute to the “vital role” they have played in the School’s success in creating a culture in which boys “behave considerately, achieve splendidly and go on to make a valuable contribution to society”.

“It has been a privilege to lead this School,” Dr Marincowitz added. ""“I have derived enormous professional and personal fulfilment from my work at Queen Elizabeth’s, so I leave with mixed feelings. However, it is most reassuring to know that the custody of the School now passes into the very capable hands of my successor Neil Enright and his formidable staff.”

In his retirement, Dr Marincowitz plans first to take a “gap year” with his wife Miriam who is also retiring from a career in education, as a university lecturer. This will give him time to decide in which of many worthy causes he will become actively involved. His interests include literature, art, coastal sailing and of course, his family.