By Robert Campbell, Principal; IVC
Warden. The name evokes one who protects or who guards. It’s main connotation will be connected with those who look after those in prison, but it also links to those who play a key role in churches, leading and setting a good example to the parishioners, encouraging unity and peace. Either way, it was the unique title given to those who led the village college to mark its distinctiveness and to set it apart from the name most commonly used then to denote the head of a school, Headmaster/mistress. The name ‘Warden’ showed that this was no ordinary school. It acknowledged that the head of the village college was entrusted with a responsibility to look after something special, in this case, the unique vision for education founded by Henry Morris in his memorandum of 1924. By calling the post ‘Warden’, Morris ensured that it made clear the work that’s involved was beyond that of simply educating children aged 11-16 (or 18), but that it should ‘lie athwart the daily lives of the community it served’. There would be ‘no leaving school’ and to encourage adults to view the village college positively, the name ‘Warden’ was nurtured. But there’s more.
The name ‘Warden’ reminds us that there’s something special here that’s worth protecting and guarding. In Gropius’s original design for IVC, the Warden’s office sits proudly in the centre of the Prom, open and accessible to all. There’s a set of values enshrined in the post of Warden that’s about keeping the Henry Morris vision alive. In the book produced for the 50th Anniversary in 1989, Sylvia West wrote (of the challenges looking forward to the 21st Century) that ‘vision and humanistic spirit continue to prevail’. When I was appointed in 2007, John Brackenbury wrote to me congratulating and reminding me of the heritage of the College. At our first meeting, we discussed the importance of the community dimension and he felt assured that the College was in good hands in that respect. I hope I have lived up to John’s expectations. When we converted to Academy status in 2012, we made sure that the Trust reflected the community and Partnership Governors continue to be appointed from community nominations.
It will not have been unnoticed that I am the first ‘Principal’ of IVC. This was the choosing of the Governing Body at the time and done to reflect the more modern times we inhabit. IVC was the last village college to change from ‘Warden’ to ‘Principal’ and although it has happened, I am in my heart, in my work and in my outlook a ‘Warden’ of the village college.
The Wardens of Impington Village College
1939-1949 John Parr
1949-1957 Roy Davey
1957-1977 John Brackenbury
1977-1985 Ken Dunning
1985-1997 Sylvia West
1997-2006 Jackie Kearns
2006-2007 Sandra Morton (Acting Warden)
2007 to present day Robert Campbell (Principal)