Dr Seldon said: “Working at Wellington College has been the most intensive and rewarding experience of my career, and will continue to be so over the next 15 months when I still have much to achieve, before the celebration of the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo in June 2015.
“In the first few years of my headship, I drove Wellington through a period of great change which set it on the path to becoming one of the world’s pre-eminent schools. In recent years, the driving force and energy has increasingly come from those around me. This has been most evident during the term-long sabbatical which I have just taken, when school life continued to move forward apace without me there, and when the school achieved outstanding in every single category of inspection. The school will be safe in the hands of Wellington’s world-class senior leadership team and wonderful teaching and support staff.
“I feel that I have done all I can do and the school needs a fresh leader as much as I now need fresh challenges. I will be very sad to leave friends and colleagues, and above all the pupils, but I will leave a Wellington which is a superb school with a momentum and substance which stands apart from me, and with a fine future ahead of it.
“Also, as many people know, my wife Joanna was diagnosed with incurable cancer three years ago, and one of my motivations for changing my life has been about knowing I can give her and our children much more of my time and support in the future.”
In a letter to parents, Chair of Governors Sir Mike Rake said: “I am sure you will join me in sincere thanks to Anthony Seldon for his outstanding success since taking up his post in January 2006. He has transformed Wellington College, introducing full co-education, the International Baccalaureate and the Middle Years Programme, and has lifted the arts, sports and academic achievements of pupils to the highest levels.
“He will be passing on a College with a global reputation for excellence and innovation and with a much admired and emulated approach to holistic education. Wellington owes Anthony a debt of gratitude. He remains committed to the College, as well as to the Academy, and will remain active in all areas until the summer of 2015.”
The process of appointing a new Head of the school is underway.
Dr Seldon will also be stepping down from his role as Executive Head of Wellington Academy, the state school supported by the College since 2009. Dr Mike Milner, who became Principal in 2013, will continue to run the day-to-day operations of the Academy. “I’ve very much enjoyed being Executive Principal of Wellington Academy since 2013,” he said. “It has now turned the corner and it is well on the road to achieving excellence in both inspection standards and results in the next three to four years.”