Gender pay gap report 2019

As required by the Equality Act 2010 (Gender Pay Gap Information Regulations 2017) the gender pay gap at St Mary’s has been calculated in order to show the difference between the average earnings of men and women across the school. The calculations were based on the workforce on 5th April 2018.

The school uses salary scales for teaching staff and hourly rates of pay for domestic and catering staff, thus ensuring equal pay for men and women. The gender pay gap is a result of the roles that men and women are employed in and the salaries these roles attract.

The workforce at the school consists of 73.1% (73.8%) women and 26.9% (26.2%) men. The mean gender pay gap is 1.7% (5.5%) and the median pay gap is 0.8% (1.2%). 

The percentage of males and females in the different earnings quartiles are as follows:




Upper Quartile

28.6% (29.0%)

71.4% (71%)

Upper Middle Quartile

25.8% (25.8%)

74.2% (74.2%)

Lower Middle Quartile

27.4% (32.3%)

72.6% (67.7%)

Lower Quartile

25.8% (17.7%)

74.2% (82.3%)

These figures indicate that the split between men and women in the upper and upper middle quartiles are in proportion to the overall split in staff. Last year, women were over-represented in the lower quartile at 82.3% and it is pleasing that this anomaly has been corrected. 

St Mary’s School Ascot is committed to equal opportunities irrespective of gender, and training and promotion opportunities are open to all.

School policies







Other policies including those listed below are available by email or printed copy on request from the Registrar:

Mission Statement, Aims and History

Admissions Policy

Behaviour Policy

School Rules, Discipline and Sanctions Policy

Curriculum Policy

Special Educational Needs Policy

Anti-Bullying Policy

Health and Safety Policy

First Aid Policy

Complaints Policy

Staff list

The Lord Hemphill (Chairman)
Mr Mark Armour
Mr Nicholas Davidson
Mr Peter Davis
Baroness Hogg of Kettlethorpe
The Hon Mrs Olga Polizzi
The Hon Martin Hunt (Chairman)
Mrs Annoushka Ayton
Mr Christopher Beirne
Mrs Clare Colacicchi
Miss Jo Ebner
Mr Martin Hattrell
Mr Edward Horswell
Mr Peter McKenna
Mr Gordon Moore
The Rev Dr Dermot Power
Sr Michaela Robinson CJ
Miss Clementine Vaughan
Mrs Danuta Staunton (Headmistress)
Mrs Cathy Ellott (Senior Deputy Head)
Mrs Jo Devine (Pastoral Deputy Head)
Mrs Barbara Breedon (Academic Deputy Head)
Mr Andrew Smith (Director of Co-curricular)
Mr Christopher Ellott (Director of External Communications)
Dr Daniel Coughlan (Director of Sixth Form)
Mr Giles Brand (Bursar and Clerk to the Governors)
Mrs Sandra Young (Registrar)
Mrs Phyllida Dewes (Development Director)
Mrs Kate Jenkinson (Mary Ward)
Mrs Helena West (Babthorpe)
Mr Tom Parsons and Mrs Katie Parsons (Bedingfeld)
Ms Roisin Toner (Poyntz)
Mrs Helen Jansen (Rookwood)
Mrs Valerie Hutchinson and Mr Nigel Hutchinson (Wigmore)

Public benefit

St Mary’s School Ascot has a long history of providing financial support to children who would otherwise not be able to afford a St Mary’s education, and we place great importance on the school’s means-tested bursary scheme. This scheme is funded by the school and the St Mary’s School Charitable Fund (Charity number 800450), which was established for the purpose of providing funds for the St Mary’s School Ascot bursary programme. The scheme operates two types of means-tested bursary: admissions and hardship. Each case is assessed on its own merits and awards are made accordingly, subject to the school’s ability to fund these within the context of its overall budget. This year the value of means-tested bursary awards totalled £507,422. This provided assistance to 29 pupils, of whom eleven benefited from in excess of 80% remission of fees, and six of these benefited from 100% remission of fees. Information about fee assistance through means-tested bursaries is provided to all applying to the school and is published on our website.

The school undertakes work and activities for the public benefit throughout the year with children from local schools and with the local community, and these are fundamental to the Catholic ethos and spirit of the school, and in line with its charitable objectives.  They are core activities for staff and pupils alike, who welcome them as part of our day-to-day life. The significant investment in time, energy and resources into our work with local state schools reflects our belief that these activities are the most effective way of broadening and widening access to St Mary’s resources to the public, including those in poverty. 

This year we have continued to develop our close relationship with the two local state schools with whom we have formal Memorandums of Understanding: Charters School and St Francis Catholic Primary School. Our engagement with these schools involves both the sharing of resources and the dual use of teaching staff:

Charters School Latin GCSE. St Mary’s Classics Department continues to provide Latin language teaching to support Year 10 and 11 pupils at Charters School studying for Latin GCSE in one after-school lesson per week at the Charters site in Sunningdale. Last year six Year 11 pupils successfully completed the new 9-1 Latin GCSE and this year seven pupils will be entered. St Mary’s also provides text books, Latin language and literature teaching resources, handouts and revision booklets.

St Francis Primary School university taster events. St Mary’s has developed two two-hour courses for Year 5 and 6 pupils from St Francis to give them a taste of university-style education.  These highly successful courses are run at and entirely resourced by St Mary’s, and include contributions from the Art, History of Art, Classics, Music, ICT, Drama, Science, Music and Modern Foreign Languages departments.

This year St Mary’s hosted 24 pupils and four staff from IntoUniversity (Charity Number 1118525) for a two-night residential stay free of charge, thereby facilitating primary school children from deprived areas of west London to gain an understanding and taste of university life. The school made minibuses and drivers available for their visit to the University of Surrey.

Other examples of activities carried out this year for the public benefit include:

Nine Lower Sixth pupils from Mulberry School came to St Mary’s in July 2018 for an Oxbridge Preparation Day run by an outside provider. This involved a full programme of activities including personal statement workshops, a talk by a former Oxford admissions tutor and introductory practice interviews.

Support with UCAS applications for two state school pupils.

Annual joint interview afternoon with Charters and Mulberry Schools for Upper Sixth Oxbridge candidates and applicants to courses requiring an interview. 28 Charters School pupils and 17 Mulberry School pupils attended. All interviewees were provided with written feedback.

Russian Club and Mandarin taster lessons

Provision of a safe but exciting venue for the St Francis Forest School on a weekly basis throughout the year

Provision of facilities and resources to allow Charters School Music Department to use St Mary’s as an INSET venue.

Council planning conditions restrict the use by others of our athletics and hockey facilities. 

Details of our arrangements with Charters School and St Francis Catholic Primary School can be found on the Schools Together website:




The new Upper Sixth Courtyard officially opened on Saturday 30th June 2018. The completion of this ambitious 18-month project heralds an exciting new phase in the boarding life of the school, increasing the space and facilities for all the girls without increasing the school's numbers.

The new Upper Sixth accommodation comprises 64 en-suite bedrooms spread across five houses gathered around an attractive central courtyard. Each house has a large kitchen and dining area, and there are also three new residential staff houses.

In addition, there is a light and spacious pastoral centre containing an amphitheatre-style lecture hall, a multi-use space for modern dance, yoga and entertaining, a reading room, a kitchen, and a series of rooms for meditation, prayer and reading, with clear views across the field and open spaces beyond. The pastoral centre is designed to create a peaceful, calm atmosphere which will be welcoming and inviting for the Upper Sixth pupils.

Our architect for this project, Angus Neil, has worked with us on many projects before, including the Orchard Centre, the Rose Theatre, the refectory and the senior library.

Importantly, the opening of the Upper Sixth Courtyard will not lead to an expansion in the number of pupils in the school. It will merely give us more space. We believe that the school is already the perfect size, allowing every girl to be known and valued by all, while maintaining a Sixth Form strong enough to attract and retain the very best teachers, and offer a full range of academic subjects at A level. That means holding to the current system, with forty boarders arriving in Year 7, joined by a further twenty in Year 9, our aim being that they all stay on for the Sixth Form. 380 pupils is also the maximum number that can fit into Chapel – a very important consideration for a community which meets every morning for prayer.

Therefore, the current Mary Ward Courtyard becomes the Lower Sixth Wing, and Year 11 move into single rooms in the wing of the school formerly occupied by the Lower Sixth. In this way, the new boarding complex benefits not only the Upper Sixth, but the whole of the school, by freeing up space in what had become a rather cramped main building.

Thus we remain faithful to the essence of what has always made St Mary's such a special community and school, and ensure that we can remain unique and special for generations to come.

Job opportunities

Please click below for information about job opportunities at St Mary's.

Application and Recruitment Process Explanatory Note

Equal Opportunities Monitoring Form

Privacy Notice for Job Applicants



Housekeeping Staff - closing date 15 July 2020

Our team is expanding and we are looking for new members to work a variety of shifts.  Please contact to find out more details.

Housekeeping staff application form

Catering Staff - closing date 17 July 2020

We are looking for catering staff to cover permanent and temporary posts. Shift times vary.  Please contact to find out more details.

Please email for word versions of application forms and job descriptions.

For further information, please contact Mrs Nicola MacRobbie at:

01344 296710


Ascot Alumnae Association

Welcome to the AAA section of the St Mary’s School Ascot website. By the time girls leave St Mary's, they have made some of the most important friendships of their lives, and the Association helps them to preserve, extend and deepen those friendships. It is a thriving network comprising nearly 3000 alumnae based in the UK and in 50 countries worldwide. All our Upper Sixth pupils are invited to join the Association, which then helps them to stay in touch with each other, both professionally and socially, after they have left the school.

In the summer of 2018 we launched AAA Connect, our new online platform for the AAA, which makes it much easier for members to stay in contact with us and each other, to keep abreast of news, to join networking groups, and to find out about reunions and other events. Members are also able to learn more about how to help current St Mary’s girls, for example by offering careers advice, mentoring or work experience. We would love to hear from any alumnae who are not yet members, and who would like to be part of our community.

If you are an Ascot alumna but have not yet registered on AAA Connect, you can do so here.

You can also update your details here.

The Association is run by the AAA Committee, which consists of the Chair, Deputy Chair, the school’s Alumnae Director Cathy Leneghan, and three other alumnae. The Headmistress also attends its three meetings a year as a representative of the school.

We would love to hear from any alumnae wanting to learn more about the Association and forthcoming events, to update their contact details, to give feedback, or to be put in touch with old friends or career contacts.

For more information about the Association, or AAAConnect, or for details about how to join, please contact the Alumnae Director, Cathy Leneghan, at or on 01344 296685.


Examination results

We are delighted to celebrate our examination results again this year. We continue our very strong record at A Level, with 39% A* grades, and 77% A*-A.

At I/GCSE our girls achieved a stunning 60% grade 9, 84% grades 9-8 (or the equivalent of grade A*), and 95% grades 9 -7 (or the equivalent of grades A*-A).


We are extremely proud of all our girls, who have worked so hard and so cheerfully, and we are grateful also for the excellence and diligence of our teaching staff.


Please click this link to download the A Level and I/GCSE results in pdf format.


The six houses

The school remains inspired to this day by the aims and mission of Mary Ward, the founder of the Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary, which established St Mary’s School in Ascot in 1885. The school’s houses are all named after women who were members of the Institute in its earliest days, including Mary Ward herself.

MARY WARD HOUSE, named after MARY WARD (1585-1645)

Head of House: Kate Jenkinson. Kate taught at St Mary's from 2000-2001, and returned in 2012 as Head of the Upper Sixth Mary Ward House. She teaches in the Maths Department, and also runs the Wine tasting society. 

Mary Ward was born in 1585 into a wealthy Catholic family, and grew up in Reformation England leading the double life that Catholics were compelled to live in those dangerous days. She felt called to the religious life at 15 and entered the monastery of Poor Clares in St Omer. By 1609, she had gathered around her a group of companions determined to follow her guidance in founding a religious Order for women along the lines of the Society of Jesus. Despite controversy and obstruction, they established themselves as a religious community in St Omer, and opened a school for girls. In the following years Mary Ward travelled widely, founding schools all over Europe. In 1639 she arrived in London, and founded several free schools there, as well as a convent near York. She died at St Mary’s School in York in 1645.

BABTHORPE, named after BARBARA BABTHORPE (1592-1654)

Head of House: Helena West. Helena has been at St Mary's since 2000, and has been Head of Babthorpe House since 2006. She teaches in the Religious Studies Department, and is also a member of the Ministry team. She is in charge of and organises the annual retreats which take place for each year group. 

The Babthorpes were one of the oldest recusant families in Yorkshire, and it was while staying with them in 1600 that Mary Ward felt the calling to religious life. In 1609, Barbara Babthorpe joined Mary Ward and the small band of women who had come together as Mary's companions at St Omer. She was named by Mary Ward to be her successor as Chief Superior in 1645. Barbara Babthorpe died in Rome in April 1654 and was buried at the English College.

BEDINGFELD, named after FRANCES BEDINGFELD (1616-1704)

Heads of House: Tom and Katie Parsons. Tom has been at St Mary's since 2000, and has been Head of Bedingfeld House since 2003. He teaches in the History of Art and English Departments. He also runs the Bridge club, and SPoKE, the national art history film competition which is hosted by St Mary's. He leads art history trips for parents to London and abroad, and enjoys playing in the staff and girls Football club. Katie joined St mary's in 2003 as Head of Bedingfeld House. She is a joint editor of the Ascot Alumnae Association magazine, and also takes parent trips. 

Frances Bedingfeld became a pupil of Mary Ward at the age of 14, and at 16 entered the Institute in Rome. She accompanied Mary Ward on her last journey back to England in 1639. In 1669 she moved back to England for good, became a headmistress, and then a dedicated superior. In 1686, she bought a house just outside Micklegate Bar in York, and started a school there. The house is now the Bar Convent and is home to members of the CJ community. She died in Bavaria in 1704 and lies in an unmarked grave.

POYNTZ, named after MARY POYNTZ (1593-1667)

Head of House: Roisin Toner. Roisin joined St Mary's in 2002, and took over as Head of Poyntz House in 2009. She teaches in the Religious Studies Department. She is a member of the Ministry team, with particular responsibility for sacramental preparation. She is also the School Garden Co-ordinator. 

Mary Poyntz lived and worked alongside Mary Ward from 1609 to 1627, and accompanied her on several journeys between England and Rome. In 1627, she was appointed the first superior of the community in Munich, and in the late 1630s, she once again accompanied Mary Ward on her return to England. When Mary Ward died in 1645, Mary Poyntz and Winifred Wigmore moved to Paris and worked on the first biography of Mary Ward. Mary Poyntz was appointed as successor to Barbara Babthorpe as Chief Superior in Rome in 1654. She died in 1667 and is buried in Munich in an unmarked grave.

ROOKWOOD, named after SUSANNA ROOKWOOD (1583-1624)

Head of House: Helen Jansen. Helen first joined St Mary's in 1994, and became Head of Rookwood House in 2010. She teaches in the Drama Department, and is also in charge of the school's many and varied equestrian activities.

Susanna Rookwood was 26 when she met her younger cousin Mary Ward, and was inspired by her enthusiasm and faith. She chose to go to St Omer with Mary, and within a few years was back in London as superior of a community of six members. In 1622, she went to Rome to assist Mary Ward in the presentation and defence of the Third Plan of the Institute before the committee of cardinals. Mary Ward valued her services highly, but realised that her spiritual gifts were underused. When the new house was set up in Naples in 1623, Susanna was named as the first superior. She was in office for only six months when she became ill and died.

WIGMORE, named after WINNIFRED WIGMORE (1585-1657)

Heads of House: Val and Nigel Hutchinson. Val and Nigel have run Wigmore House together since 2008. Val teaches in the Computing and ICT Department, and Nigel is a member of the Music Department and the school organist.

Winnifred Wigmore joined Mary Ward as one of her companions in 1609. In 1619, she became novice mistress in Liège. On the death of Susanna Rookwood, who was superior of the house in Naples, Winnifred was regarded as her obvious successor, but she resisted the appointment fiercely. In 1631, she went to Rome to set up a community on the Esquiline. Winnifred was one of the members who returned to England with Mary Poyntz and Catherine Smith, to be with Mary Ward at her death. In 1650, she went to Paris and became headmistress of a school and novice mistress. She died in 1657.