The Headmaster of Kilkenny College Ian Coombes is to leave the school this summer and take up a new teaching post elsewhere, the Kilkenny People has learned.
Mr Coombes has been principal at the famous Kilkenny secondary school for just over four years. He took over the post from Phillip Gray in March 2010.
However, today citing ‘professional and family reasons’, he will now leave to take up the position of Headmaster of Bandon Grammar School at the start of next term, where he had previously worked. Staff and students at the school have been left stunned by the news this morning.
During his stewardship in Kilkenny, Mr Coombes worked with staff, management and the Board of Education to bring about a return to the ‘free scheme’ education and admittance policy (for free tuition). The transition process from private to state had gone ‘very smoothly’ according to an interview with Mr Coombes last spring.
He made the decision to return to the West Cork school having discussed it with his family.
“We had a very difficult and painful decision to make,” Mr Coombes told the Kilkenny People
“I have given it a lot of thought. Kilkenny is a lovely community, the school has been a lovely place to work and it is in a very secure position going forward.”
In a statement today, the Board of Governors and the Board of Management wished Ian and his family every health and happiness on his return to his native West Cork, and thanked him sincerely for all he has achieved for, and given to, Kilkenny College with total commitment.
“We are pleased for Ian and his family, but this is tinged with sadness for Kilkenny College,” said the statement.
The Board of Governors now has the task of finding a new Principal for Kilkenny College.