Mark Turner – A profile

Mark Turner at Shrewsbury International in 2012Mark Turner was born in Hampstead, London in 1961 and educated at Rossall School, Lancashire and Oxford University where he read Geography, represented the University at hockey, and captained his college cricket and squash teams. He is married to Elizabeth, herself an Oxford geographer and experienced teacher, and they have two sons, Alexander and Gideon.

Whilst at University, Mark Turner was awarded an Army Scholarship and spent holidays on attachment to a number of regiments.  After Oxford came Sandhurst and the award of a Commission into 4th Regiment Royal Artillery with whom he served in Germany and Northern Ireland.  Army life provided the opportunity for the development of a number of interests, in particular Adventure Training.  In 1985 he completed a Joint Service Mountain Expedition Leaders’ course in Norway.

After the Army it was back to university to complete a Post Graduate Certificate in Education, this time to Cambridge, creating divided loyalties on Varsity Match Day!  In 1987 he was appointed an Assistant Master at Oundle School.  In 1988 he took over as Head of Geography and Master in Charge of Hockey, followed in 1990 by appointment as Housemaster.  He organised and led major school expeditions, to Zanskar in India, 1992, and to climb Mount Kenya, 1994.

Mark Turner was the youngest member of the Headmasters’ and Headmistresses’ Conference when he was appointed to the HMC as the Headmaster of Kelly College in 1995.  Since that time he has gained valuable experience of boarding at Kelly College and of a highly selective academic day school at Abingdon. During his eight years at Abingdon, its academic profile improved and its rowing crews developed to a point where they have dominated school competition over the last few years. Having been short-listed in 2005 and 2007, Mark Turner was awarded the Tatler Headmaster of the Year award in 2009, and has been an active school inspector since 1998.

As Shrewsbury School’s 27th Headmaster, he has enjoyed building on the work of his illustrious predecessors, with an ambitious ten-year development plan, ‘2020 Vision’, a dynamic Senior Leadership Team, strong pupil numbers and an improving academic profile, which all suggest that the School’s fortunes will continue to flourish. The most recent ISI inspection report, published in March 2017, provides further independent confirmation that Shrewsbury is a school in good heart and excellent standing on the national stage.

Mark Turner announced on 2nd May 2017 that he will be leaving Shrewsbury at the end of summer term 2018, to take up the position of Head at St Michaels University School in Canada.

In his letter to parents and guardians, the Chairman of Governors wrote: "When Mark joined us some seven years ago, he did so with an ambitious ten-year development plan for the School, including the completion of Shrewsbury's transition to full co-education. He will depart in the summer of 2018 with that plan already full realised and a school that is flourishing by all key measures, most notably the attainment and achievements of its pupils...

"...Change of leadership is a natural and planned-for part of the rhythm of school life. This transition has been anticipated, and prepared for, for some time and Governors have already commenced the process of identifying and appointing Mark's successor. It is our belief that Shrewsbury's standing will allow us to select from the very best field of candidates for this prestigious and important role."

A copy of the Chairman's letter may be downloaded here: Chairman's letter to Parents and Guardians, 2nd May 2017