Remembering Tonbridge Grammar Headteacher Barbara Mitchener

What the garden looked like before
COURAGE AND HONOUR Barbara Mitchener was Headteacher from 1974 to 1990

A service will be held next month in the school hall which was named after her, when current and former pupils are welcome to come and share their reflections.

Miss Mitchener died on August 26 and her funeral was held in Skipton, North Yorkshire on September 11.

Having been an English teacher, she was appointed Headteacher at TGS from 1974 to 1990.

The school issued a statement saying she ‘gave students the confidence and skills to achieve what they wanted to in life’.

The current Head, Rosemary Joyce, said: “It was with great sadness that the TGS community heard of the passing of Miss Mitchener.

“I was privileged to know Barbara through her continued engagement with the school long after her retirement.

“Her leadership at TGS was marked by a genuine commitment to promote the highest aspiration for the students in her care to be successful and make their mark on the world.

“I am proud that these principles remain very much part of everyday life at Tonbridge Grammar School.”

Mrs Joyce added: “Barbara gave students the -confidence and skills to do whatever they wanted to in life, and she taught them that there were no barriers.

“Her aspirations for the students went beyond the academic and wider interests were actively encouraged. Staff and student well-being was a priority.

“I know that Barbara was thrilled that today’s students file into the Mitchener Hall for inspirational assemblies, vibrant musical or dance performances, motivational speeches and celebrations of achievement – all things that she approved of very much.”

Past students have shared their memories of Miss Mitchener. One said: “Thank you for creating a wonderful, safe, aspirational school, for giving me some of the happiest years of my life and for instilling in all of us the importance of our school motto ‘courage and honour’ as we went out into the world.”

The service of thanksgiving will be held in Mitchener Hall at Tonbridge Grammar School on November 6 from 3-5pm.

Alumni are invited to bring along photographs and memorabilia to share.

If you would like to attend, contact or call 01732 365125.

Tributes from former pupils

“A wonderful headteacher, who inspired a generation of young women to believe in themselves, raise standards and lead others in the same. Thank you.”

“I remember Miss Mitchener as a strict but fair headteacher. She had high standards and expectations of her students, which we didn’t appreciate at the time!”

“I was always struck by the care and attention she gave to the students and staff.”

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