Skip Navigation LinksCommunityBoardingSt Margaret's

St. Margaret’s Boarding House

St Margaret's House was the first of the two current senior boys’ boarding houses to be established just over 100 years ago.

Sutton Valence School St Margaret's Boarding House in which the boys are enjoying each other's company in some of their free time

Inevitably it contains a dynamic community with seniors leaving and juniors arriving every year, but the message of ‘Respect’ is handed on like a baton from generation to generation. This basic principle permeates all we do in the House and is effectively the single house rule, guiding all boys in every aspect of their lives together.

The house has built up a reputation for hospitality and friendship over recent years and is happy to work with or compete against the other boarding houses in a whole range of settings. From wine tasting to welly-wanging, when the work has been done, St. Margaret’s explores the full range of fun.

Just as boys come together from all around the world bringing with them a wealth of values and cultural experiences, so the staff come from varied backgrounds and bring their different contributions to the House.


Mr Steven Head began his appointment as Housemaster in September 2014, and also joined the Science department as a teacher of chemistry and physics. Elspeth, his wife, is a teacher in the learning support department, and their two rapidly growing children, Lydia and Ruaridh, complete the family. Mr Head greatly enjoys all of the activities that the school has to offer, but has a special fondness for the sporting side of the school, and is the officer commanding the Army section of the CCF. Throughout the year there will be lots of events to be held in and around the house, and Mr Head does not need much of an excuse to fire up the barbecue.

Mr David Holmes has had a long association with boarding provision at Sutton Valence School. Joining the School in 1994 after graduating from the Royal Academy of Music he was appointed Head of Strings in 1999. He started his involvement in the Junior Boarding House as an out-tutor and then went on to spend ten years as Assistant Housemaster in St. Margaret’s. During this time he, and wife Amanda, a music teacher in the School, added daughter Charlotte to the boarding rosta. Reluctant to lose his expertise, the School has persuaded him to stay on as an out-tutor for a little longer.

Mr Jack Downs is the Head of Geography. He has a Master’s Degree in American Political Science, specialising in geopolitics. This means he always willing to have a debate about any political issue! Outside of his academic interests in Geography and Politics, Mr Downs has a passion for a whole host of sports. He has coached badminton, football, cricket and squash for the last ten years, whilst playing in local and county leagues in these sports. Sadly Mr Downs is a Chelsea fan which means he will probably be feeling ‘blue’ during this season.

Mrs Chloe Bridger joined the School in 2018 and is part of the Mathematics department. She has a BA in Mathematics from the University of Kent.

At the heart of the House, particularly during the daytime is our Matron, Mrs Bev Sparrowhawk. With a range of qualifications in Childcare, Health and Social Care and Social Work, Bev also has previous experience as a House Mother. Having spent many years as a Service wife Bev has two grown up and successful children, who went through their own boarding experience. She also does voluntary work for Service charities.

Contact Us

Sutton Valence School

North Street, Sutton Valence, Kent, ME17 3HL


Tel: 01622 845200


© Sutton Valence School    |    Terms & Conditions    |    Privacy & Cookies    |    Site by Blue Level