Our Staff

The quality of learning at Ipswich High School is a testament to the expertise and commitment of all the staff at the school. Our teachers, Heads of Department, members of the leadership teams along with Support Staff are able to share ideas, experience and best practice with fellow colleagues, feeding into and enhancing the learning experience at Ipswich High School.

Senior Leadership Team

Dan Browning, Head

Mr Browning joined Ipswich High School in January 2023. He was previously Headteacher of Wymondham College. Under his leadership, Wymondham College enjoyed tremendous success where it was named ‘Secondary School of the Year’ and was amongst the highest performing schools in East Anglia. Before joining Wymondham College, Mr Browning was Executive Principal of the two British Forces Schools in Cyprus, having moved there from his role as Senior Leader at Tendring Technology College. Mr Browning is also a Founding Member of the Chartered College of Teaching, a Fellow of the Chartered Management Institute, and a member of the Headteacher Advisory Board of the Princes’ Teaching Institute.

Lisa Finch, Head of Prep School

Mrs Finch joined Ipswich High School in Spring 2019 as Head of the Prep School. With substantial and varied experience as a primary headteacher, her leadership has been described by an external review as inspirational and dynamic. Mrs Finch completed a degree in Drama and Theatre and Education, with subsidiary mathematics and physical education, at University of Roehampton (London), which has a global reputation for research and teaching innovation and cultural engagement. Mrs Finch has wide experience of teaching, across all Prep year groups, and is also a qualified SENCO.

Kaye Extance, Head of Senior School  

Ms Extance joined Ipswich High School as Director of Music in September 2009, creating and developing our unique enrichment offer before taking on the post of Head of Co-Curricular and Enrichment in 2014, and then Head of Senior School. Having trained at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, she completed her PGCE at Homerton College, Cambridge, and began her teaching career in Dorset, before taking on a post at Kesgrave High School. She is also an accomplished cellist and conductor, running a number of music ensembles both in school and within the wider community. Ms Extance is also our whole school Designated Safeguarding Lead.

Laura Massey

Laura Massey, Director of Teaching & Learning and CPD

Ms Massey joined Ipswich High School in September 2023. She was previously Vice Principal of Teaching and Learning & CPD across the confederated St. John’s and King Richard School. Having gained a degree in History at Essex University, she completed her PGCE in Religious Studies at University of East Anglia. Ms Massey is an experienced classroom practitioner and has taught across KS3, KS4 and KS5. She has held a range of leadership roles including the post as Director of Teaching and Learning in a large school in Essex. Ms Massey is a keen netballer and during a career break she operated a floristry business.

Tom Collishaw

Tom Collishaw, Director of Boarding & Pastoral

Mr Collishaw joined Ipswich High School in September 2023 as Director of Boarding and Pastoral Care. Mr Collishaw qualified with a BA with QTS in Physical Education in 2009. Mr Collishaw has held several pastoral middle leadership roles including Head of Boys Sport, Head of Year and Head of House. Mr Collishaw then moved into senior leadership as Assistant Headteacher and Head of a large Boarding House at Wymondham College, Norfolk. During Mr Collishaw’s time, Wymondham College gained superb academic results and was awarded two consecutive outstanding Ofsted inspections for boarding specifically. Mr Collishaw went on to become Assistant Headteacher responsible for Behaviour and Attendance at Fakenham Academy.

Mr Collishaw loves sport and has played a range of sport to a highly competitive level including cricket, football, rugby, and basketball.

Mark Speakman

Mark Speakman, Director of Curriculum & Achievement

Mr Speakman joined Ipswich High School in September 2021 as the Head of History and Politics. He was previously the Head of Humanities at Tendring Technology College. He gained a degree in History at Reading University and returned to Higher Education to complete his PGCE in History at University of East Anglia. Mr Speakman is an experienced middle leader and classroom practitioner and has taught across KS3, KS4 and KS5 in History, Politics and Geography. Prior to beginning a teaching career, Mr Speakman has spent time in the Defence Industry and worked abroad in Italy. As well as a deep love of History and Politics, Mr Speakman is an avid sports fan and player, including cricket, rugby, football, and swimming.

Alex Gwynne

Alex Gwynne, Deputy Head of Prep School

Mrs Gwynne joined Ipswich High School in Autumn 2022 as Deputy Head of Prep. She graduated from Canterbury Christ Church University with a BA (QTS) in Education & went on to complete her MA in Education. She started her teaching career at a primary school in Long Melford, before moving for a promotion to a small rural primary school in Woodbridge to become part of the Senior Leadership Team. Alex joined the staff at St Mary’s in Woodbridge in September 2008 as part of the Senior Leadership Team, before being appointed as the Deputy Head in September 2009. Mrs Gwynne enjoys any outdoor pursuits, including horse riding & riding her bike.

Our Board

Ipswich High School is a proprietorial school owned by Ipswich Education Limited (IEL), whose Board has the legal responsibility to ensure that all regulatory requirements are met. This means that the Proprietorial Board has a role that is different to many independent schools. It is the role of the Proprietorial Board to provide the school with strategic guidance and oversight. The Proprietorial Board, therefore, have powers of scrutiny and are enabled to make recommendations for change and improvement. The Proprietorial Board are supported by voluntary advisors who will offer their advice as a “critical friend”. Board meetings are held every term.