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Tributes Paid to Departing Headmistress

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Earlier in the Summer, the governors of Bolton School announced that, due to family reasons, Miss Sue Hincks would resign from her post as Headmistress of Bolton School Girls’ Division. During her ten years leading the School, there was much to celebrate including the TES’ Independent School of the Year award and being granted the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service. Sue was also President of the Girls’ School Association during 2019. 

Many tributes to Sue have been sent to the School and left online via social media. Here are a selection of our favourites. 

Miss Hincks, 

Both Ellie May and I began Bolton School in Year 7, Ellie in 2015 and myself in 2013, with both graduating in 2020. You were our headmistress for our entire journey. 

While we were at BSGD, we looked up to you as an inspirational, admirable, and ambitious woman who embodies what makes a headmistress good, going above and beyond in your responsibilities and being an approachable member of staff. You combined the seriousness of a headmistress with hilarity (we still laugh about a few of your side notes, especially after events like the Panto.) Our parents, Ellie May and I were impressed by the speed and fluidity of how BSGD transferred to online learning, something that has helped with the transition to college and university within the pandemic. We both flourished at Bolton and are thankful for the opportunities we were offered when studying there; you undeniably played a role in our growth. Both of us can recall times where you supported our achievements outside of school, and we are very grateful for it. 

We are saddened to hear you have resigned, and wish you and your family health and happiness. We thank you for all you have done for BSGD, and congratulate Mrs Kyle on her new role. She has big shoes to fill, though we are confident she will be a wonderful headmistress.’ 

Amelia Doherty, Class of 2020 and Ellie-May Doherty, Class of 2022 

Thank you for your dedication and commitment to Bolton School over the past 10 years. As an Old Girl and past member of staff it has been good to know that the continued success of BSGD has been safe in your hands. You leave the school in a strong position. I enjoyed the time we worked together and appreciated the many initiatives you introduced. I wish you every success and happiness in the future.

Mrs Julia Head, Class of 1971 and Former Girls’ Division Staff 

Thank you Miss Hincks, you have been an amazing support network for all staff and students. I am sure that I can say this on behalf of everyone, you will be missed dearly and your absence will certainly be felt. We hope you don't forget us and still remain in touch! Wishing you all the best!


I have very much enjoyed the Old Girls' lunches in the Art Centre for a number of years. Sue has always joined in with us and we have appreciated her company. She is very much a "people" person, always  pleasant, chatty, friendly and interested in others. She has been a tremendous asset to Bolton School and will be greatly missed.’

Evelyn Cooper (nee Evans, Class of 1956) 

It was an absolute pleasure working with Sue in the Girls' Division. The young women who have been through her care are so fortunate as she had the vision to bring the school forward and equip pupils with the skills required for the world we live in today. Sue was incredibly hard working, thoughtful and a very amusing colleague. Meetings, discussions over lunch, Presentation Evening and social occasions were never dull when Sue was there. I am sure she could walk along B corridors much faster than me! So many happy memories. Very best wishes for the future Sue.’

Ilona Smalley, Former Girls’ Division Staff 

During my time as Head of Hesketh House, Sue Hincks provided leadership and support for the Junior Girls' School in a way that promoted the growth, aspiration and creativity of staff and children alike. Her fastidiousness and capacity for endeavour and hard work were beyond question; with the capacity for good humour along the way.

Ruth Brierley, Former Head of Hesketh House, the Girls’ Junior School

'Sue Hincks will be missed by all who have had the privilege and pleasure of working with her. A tremendous leader with energy and vision.'

Jane Prescott, Headmistress, Portsmouth High School and GSA President 2020

'Thank you Sue Hincks for all you have done to promote the many benefits of single sex education for girls. You were an inspirational President for the GSA. We will miss your kindness, support and good humour. Best wishes for the future from all at Alderley Edge School for Girls.'

Nicola Smillie, Headmistress, Alderley Edge School for Girls

'As a fellow Head in the Girls Schools Association I have huge respect and affection for Sue Hincks who served as our President and Chair of the Education Committee. Her passion for education in its broadest sense, and for her students and staff was absolute. Her fellow heads will miss her as an inspiration to us all during her time at Bolton.'

Alice Phillips, Girls School Association

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