Royal Hospital School Announces New Head, Irfan Latif

Posted: 17th January 2024

Royal Hospital School (RHS) in Holbrook, Ipswich, has today announced its new Head, Irfan Latif, who will begin his role at RHS on 1st September 2024.  Irfan has been Principal at DLD College London, based in Westminster, since 2018.

Under his dynamic leadership, DLD College London has been transformed into a multi-award-winning co-ed 13-18 boarding and day school, with huge improvements to many different aspects of the school.  This includes pastoral care and wellbeing support, high academic standards and the growth and development of a stronger co-curricular programme.  DLD’s clear emphasis on innovation, top quality teaching and learning, with an uncompromising focus on safeguarding and active learning, deeply rooted in a strong school ethos with inclusive values, are attributes strongly aligned to those at RHS.

Prior to taking up the Headship at DLD, Irfan was Headmaster at Sexey’s School in Bruton, Somerset, and Deputy Head at Bedford School.  Educated at Emanuel School in London, he graduated with honours in Chemistry from King’s College, University of London, where he also studied for his PGCE and is currently completing a Masters in Educational Leadership at the University of Buckingham.

Mark Pendlington, Chair of Governors at RHS comments: “We undertook a rigorous recruitment process, attracting a very high quality of applications, including existing Heads.  Irfan’s senior experience as an education leader with 25 years in teaching, and over 15 years as a Deputy Head and Head, in leading HMC and BSA UK boarding and day schools, made him an outstanding candidate.

Irfan has a proven track record as a team leader on a local and national level. He is able to build on success, drive innovation, and inspire and engage across the whole school community. He has also developed powerful partnerships and networks beyond the school gates.  

The Governors and I believe these qualities will allow RHS to look to the future with confidence.  Together, we continue to take enormous pride in our 300-year-old history and heritage. At the same time, we keep a firm eye to the future and in meeting the high expectations placed upon us, so that we are able to inspire and motivate every child in our care to achieve the very best for themselves in a rapidly changing world.”

Irfan Latif commented on his appointment: “It’s an honour to have been appointed the 11th Headmaster of the Royal Hospital School in Suffolk.  With its rich heritage and commitment to excellence, this prestigious institution has long stood as a beacon of outstanding education and character development in the East of England.

The school’s unique 300-year-old history instils in us a spirit of resilience, respect, and integrity and these values will continue to guide us as we embrace the challenges and opportunities of the future. Together, we will foster a culture of innovation and inclusivity, ensuring that RHS remains at the forefront of holistic education, with continued academic excellence in the classroom and all-round success in sport, music, art and drama.

I am keen to work collaboratively with the school, Greenwich Hospital, parents, and our wider community to build on the outstanding work of the current Headmaster Simon Lockyer, to nurture a generation of learners who are not only academically accomplished and creative but also kind, confident, and ready to contribute positively to a rapidly changing world.

Thank you for entrusting me with this great responsibility. My wife Jo, our two daughters and I are looking forward to moving to Suffolk over the summer and a future filled with growth, and shared success at RHS.”

RHS was recently named as a finalist for ‘Co-educational School of the Year’ in the prestigious Independent School of the Year Awards 2023, as well as being the only school in Suffolk to be featured in the Tatler School’s Guide 2024.


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