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24th May 2024

Mrs Sarah Gomm wins Award for Lifelong service to boarding

We are thrilled to announce that our longstanding and much admired Deputy Head Pastoral, Sarah Gomm has been awarded the Boarding Schools’ Association’s Stephen Winkley Award in recognition of her significant contribution to the cause of boarding.

This highly contested and top international award commends the achievements of an individual who has made a significant contribution to boarding and is dedicated to the memory of Stephen Winkley, who was BSA Chair and Headmaster of Uppingham and Rossall Schools. Headmaster, Henry Price, attended the BSA Heads Conference in London where he received the award on Sarah’s behalf. 

Sarah joined Oakham School in 1992 as a Teacher of Chemistry and, since arriving, has always been a Tutor in a girls’ MS Boarding House. She became Director of Activities in 2001 before moving on to become the Head of Middle School in 2004. As Safeguarding legislation evolved, Sarah became the Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) later expanding this role to a team. 

For the last 10 years, Sarah has led our Pastoral Care strategies. These innovations were the subject of the magazine The Week’s award for Best School for Pastoral Care. 

Colleagues were keen to support with testimonials including former Head of Middle School and current Trustee, Mrs Margaret Miles, former Housemistress, Mrs Tessa Drummond along with those working alongside her at Oakham School.

“It is a frequent occurrence for OOs to return with their children for visits and open days to hear the name ‘Mrs Gomm’ mentioned in presentations. This usually results in the question, ‘is that THE Mrs Gomm? She used to teach me chemistry!’  This simple question and subsequent delight to discover that it is indeed ‘THE Mrs Gomm’ is a testament to all that Sarah has done throughout her time at Oakham School. “ 

Another summed Sarah up by saying “Whatever Sarah does, she does well and with great care and thought.” 

“She is an authentic and inspirational teacher and one of the kindest and most thoughtful people you could hope to work with.” 

In her award nomination summary, a colleague stated “Her calm, clear and gentle approach, tinged with gentle humour, gives children the confidence to believe in themselves (and go on to achieve far more than they had thought themselves capable of).” 

Congratulations to Sarah (THE Mrs Gomm) on this highly prestigious and well deserved recognition.  



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