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Duncan Byrne


In 2016, I was honoured to become the 35th Headmaster in the 524 year history of Loughborough Grammar School, after six years as Deputy Head (Academic) at Cheltenham College. A Londoner by birth, I was educated at Dulwich College, where I enjoyed equally the intellectual stimulation provided by outstanding teachers and an extraordinary range of co-curricular opportunities. These early experiences have informed my belief that a first-class education requires balance, and that development of character, independence and moral compass are most often acquired through those activities undertaken outside the classroom.

After A Levels, I read Modern and Medieval Languages at Trinity College, Cambridge, where I was also a choral scholar in the world-renowned Chapel Choir. I undertook my teacher training immediately following my degree, and, more recently, I completed a Master’s in Educational Leadership from the University of Buckingham.

I spent my early career in London boys’ day schools, rising to be Head of Modern Languages at Whitgift School before taking on my first senior leadership post as Assistant Head at Haberdashers’ Aske’s Boys’ School. At LGS, I remain active in the classroom, teaching French to all Year 7 classes on rotation, so that I can get to know the boys as individuals.

Music is my great love - a passion I share with my wife Marie-Claire, whom I met when we were at Cambridge – and I still sing regularly as a tenor. Singing has taken me to some extraordinary places around the world, whether singing Midnight Mass at Cape Town Cathedral alongside Archbishop Desmond Tutu or providing backing vocals to Procol Harum at a charity concert.

I am also a huge sports fan, even if my own talent never quite matched my ambitions and, as any boy who has listened to my assemblies will be aware, I am a lifelong and long-suffering Arsenal supporter. My football playing days are long gone, but I can often be seen refereeing school fixtures on Saturday afternoons. These days, my own sporting pursuits are focused on distance running and road cycling, and my interest in the Tour de France borders on the obsessive.

I have two sons who are pupils at the Grammar School which gives me an interesting additional perspective on the experiences of boys during their educational journey.